Bittersweet Honorable Mention: Most Photogenic Brownie

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

There were several brownie recipes entered in our recent Bittersweet Baking contest, but none of them made us gasp when we opened the email like these Irish Coffee Brownies from Wesa.

It didn’t go into our finalist pool (the brownie representatives were Sarah’s Yummy-Nib Brownies) but we had to share the recipe for these brownies. The glazed, shiny, slightly crackled tops speak to us of our ideal brownie…

Wesa says:

These brownie are bittersweet for the layer of bittersweet chocolate (right before baking). Also if you use extra dark cocoa powder throughout the recipe, you’ll have an intense, dark chocolate decadent dessert, perfect to share with a cup of coffee and friends.

I first made these brownies for a friend’s birthday present right before Christmas. She shared with her officemates, who couldn’t keep their hands off of them! I made them again for a local blog meet-up, which prompted more than one person to forgo other plans in order to indulge. A crowd pleaser every time.

Irish Coffee Brownies
about 36 brownies

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 ounces bittersweet (70% or higher dark chocolate) shavings
2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon Irish Whiskey
1-1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons brewed coffee
Chopped pecans (optional)

1. Heat granulated sugar, butter or margarine, and 1/2 cup cocoa powder in a large saucepan over medium heat until butter or margarine melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat lightly just until combined,

2. Stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. Stir together milk and 1/4 cup whiskey; stir in coffee crystals. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to the chocolate mixture, beating by hand after each addition. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased 15×10×1-inch baking pan. (One other option is to place a layer of parchment paper cut to size on the bottom of the pan instead of greasing it. The brownies will pop right out onto your cooling rack.) Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top.

3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

4. Meanwhile, for the Irish Coffee Glaze, stir together sifted powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon Irish whiskey, and 1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in 3 to 4 tablespoons brewed coffee until of drizzling consistency.

5. If desired, sprinkle with additional chopped nuts. Makes 36 brownies.

More from our Bittersweet Baking contest
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)