Last week’s decadent Triple Chocolate Brownie Pie brought me an unforeseen blessing: leftover brownie batter. Now, some people might look upon that bowl of batter and think, “Great. What am I going to do with this?” But I never see extra food as a bad thing, especially when it comes to brownie batter. So what did I do with that liquid chocolate gold? I baked it into cute handheld bites of course.
You see, the problem with traditional brownies is that they aren’t always easy to eat with your hands. Often times, they can be crumbly or cut into unmanageable squares that are best tackled on a plate with a fork. These chocolatey cuties, however, are for brownie lovers on the go. Munch away at these moist and tasty treats without the aid of a fork and plate. You can do some laundry, drive to work, or keep one hand on the remote while watching The Bachelor, all while chowing down on one of these petite brownies. It’s the way to go, my little cookies.
Plus, you can save yourself from the oftentimes treacherous task of cutting the brownies out of the pan. Sometimes, no matter how well you grease the pan, those little suckers refuse to come out clean. Or, even when removal goes somewhat smoothly, you still hack up the brownies while cutting them because they’re so fatally fragile. Save yourself all that fuss and muss by baking these brownie babies in cupcake tins. You get perfect, cute brownies every time, no cutting, sawing, or ripping required.
And did I mention there’s a second delicious option when it comes to making these, a way to take them over the top? Frost these brownie bites with some smooth, creamy Cocoa Buttercream. Hello, handheld decadence. These treats are deceiving; they look like cute little cupcakes, but you bite in to discover a fudgy brownie buried beneath. It’s the best of both worlds.
Frosting or no frosting, these Baked Brownie Bites are as cute as they are delicious. They’re the perfect finger food for parties, or just for everyday snacking. But beware: their snackable* size makes it easy to eat mounds of them at a time!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- The kind of chocolate you use while baking is up to you. I used a milder dark chocolate, but if you really want that intense chocolate flavor, then you should go for very dark.
- Don’t over-mix the batter…seriously. The more you mix, the cakier* your brownies become. I mixed mine just a tiny bit too much. They were still fudgy, just not as much as they should’ve been.
- Frosting really is a decadent and delicious touch to these. You can find a beautifully smooth and delicious Cocoa Buttercream here.
- These little Brownie Bites go great with coffee in the morning!
- These are the kind of baked goods that taste better each day. The flavor enhances more and more.
- The original recipe calls for espresso powder, which I omit. You can add it if you want; supposedly it intensifies the chocolate flavor, but I’ve never agreed with that. In all the recipes that do this, I find all the espresso powder does is make it taste like coffee. Chocolate is chocolate, and the flavor should remain untainted.
Baked Brownie Bites
Recipe adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Yield: About 24 Brownie Bites
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Optional: Cocoa Buttercream (recipe follows), for frosting
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin/cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour batter into lined muffin tins; about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until top is flaky and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
7. Let cool and top with Cocoa Buttercream, if desired. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 5 days.
- 1 cup butter
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2-3 tablespoons milk, as needed
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2-3 cups (use more or less, to your desired consistency) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Cream butter; add cocoa, mixing well. Add milk and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar until it has reached your desired spreading consistency. Spread immediately.
*Snackable – (adj) Having qualities ideal for snacking purposes.
*Cakier – (adj) More resembling or relating to the texture of cake.