These Mocha Chip Brownies may seem simple at first glance, but their short ingredient list only means that they are easy to make, not lacking in flavor. They are some of the most delicious brownies that I’ve had in a while – so tasty that I made two batches in two days just to meet the demand of my tasters.
These brownies have just the right amount of coffee flavor to support all that chocolate, bringing a balanced mocha flavor to each bite. They’re fudgy, but are tender rather than chewy, and have a great bittersweet chocolate flavor without too much added sugar to cover it up. The chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks, if you prefer), add some additional richness and an extra hit of chocolate in each piece. Part of the secret to these brownies is browning the butter before it goes into the batter. While you can’t taste the nuttiness in the same way that you can in these browned butter blondies, taking a few minutes to brown the butter adds some complexity to the bars and makes them seem even more decadent.
I used instant espresso powder in these brownies. As you might guess from the name, the powder has a more intense flavor than regular instant coffee does. Since you are using less of it, it also dissolves more readily in batter than instant coffee, so I highly recommend stocking up on some to keep on hand for baking. If you don’t have any, you can use Starbucks Via as a 1:1 substitute. Instant coffee can be used, but you’ll need to use more to get the same flavor in your brownies.
I cut these into large squares. Feel free to cut them down into bite-sized pieces if you have a crowd to serve. The brownies keep well for a couple of days when stored in an airtight container. You can also bake them in an 8×8-inch baking pan (instead of the 9×9 I used here) for slightly thicker brownies, increasing the baking time by 2-3 minutes to give them a little extra baking time to set up.
Mocha Chip Brownies
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso power or 1 tbsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup chocolate chips (or chunks)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or lightly grease.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Cook butter over medium heat until it bubbles and begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat when butter is golden brown and smells nutty. Whisk in cocoa powder, espresso powder and vanilla extract. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Whisk sugar and eggs into cooled butter, then stir in the flour and salt, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 30-32 minutes, until brownies are set and the edges are firm. Allow brownies to cool completely in the pan before slicing.
Makes 9 large brownies.