Espresso Brownies With Praaaaline Topping (Sorry, but that’s how Southerners pronounce it)

Well, today is the last day of Chocolate Month and I wanted it to go out with a doozie just in case, by tomorrow, I feel a little more like posting healthy, low calorie recipes…I’m sorry, I can’t even write “low calorie” without laughing. But, I still wanted the last recipe in February to be special, so I decided to get my Pastry Queen Cookbook out and see what recipe just screamed out to me and here it is. If this doesn’t end the month with a bang, nothing will.


3/4 cup unsalted butter

3 oz unsweetened chocolate

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 tables (yes, tables not teas) vanilla

1 tables instant espresso powder

1 tables boiling water

1 cup flour

1/4 teas salt

Praaaaline Topping:

1 cup pecans

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup firmly backed light brown sugar

2 tables unsalted butter

1 tables light corn syrup

1 tables (yes, again) vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350. LIne a 9×13 baking pan with foil, leaving several inches hanging over the short ends of the pan. Grease the foil with butter or Pam (or Shirley or Louise)

In a large metal bowl, set over a pan filled with 2″ of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate (or you can do this in the microwave). Stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Stir in both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla all at once and stir until the batter is smooth and shiny. In a small bowl, combine the espresso powder and the boiling water; stir into the brownie mixture. Stir in the flour and salt.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out evenly. Bake about 30 min or until the brownies have just begun to shrink slightly away from the sides of the pan. Do not over bake; the brownies should be slightly wet inside. Cool completely while making the praaaaline topping, about 1 hour at room temp. Leave the oven at 350.

To make the topping, arrange the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 7-9 min, until golden brown and aromatic. Break the nuts into large pieces. Combine butter, cream, brown sugar and for syrup in a 2 /12 qt size saucepan and stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth and the butter has melted. Bring to a boil, boil without stirring about 6 min. If the mixture starts to boil over, you’ve set the heat too high. Turn the burner down a notch. Remove the mixture from the hat and let cool about 5 min. Stir in the vanilla and pecans. Pour the topping over the cooled brownies, spreading it with a knife to cover evenly.

Let the topping cool at least 15 min at room temp. Lift the brownies, still in foil, out of the pan. Cut them into small, 2″ squares; these little gems are really rich….enjoy this last day and we will explore some new spring recipes beginning tomorrow…share a recipe and a smile, Trudy

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