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Coffee and Kahlua Brownie Bites

A bottle of Kahlua or Homemade Vanilla Coffee Liqueur is a great thing to have around the kitchen. This is partly because you can use it to make yourself a tasty cocktail, but it is also because it provides a wonderful way to infuse coffee flavor into baked goods like cakes and brownies. Liqueurs are spirits that are sweetened and flavored, and like vanilla extract, most of the alcohol burns off in the oven and leaves only the flavor behind. These Coffee and Kahlua Brownie Bites are just one of many things that you can bake with a bottle of coffee-flavored liqueur, but they are a great place to start.

The brownie batter is made with dark chocolate and cocoa powder for a balanced chocolate flavor that has a lot of depth to it. I added a generous amount of coffee liqueur and a little bit of instant coffee powder. The coffee liqueur is flavorful enough to infuse the brownies with coffee, but I find that a little extra boost from the instant coffee powder (a product like Starbucks Via works very well, too) pushes it over the edge and makes it even more delicious – especially for a coffee-lover like me. They brownies are baked in mini muffin pans, so you end up with perfect bite sized chocolate treats. I usually bake mine in mini muffin papers so that they are easy to get out of the pan and serve, but you can lightly grease your pan and dust it with cocoa powder if you prefer not to use the wrappers.

These brownie bites aren’t as dense and chewy as some brownies are. Instead, they are a little bit lighter and are more tender, almost like a very rich cake instead of a piece of candy. They have a great chocolate flavor and you really get just the right amount of coffee in each bite. I find that it is easy to eat two or three of these at a time. Fortunately, the recipe makes a fairly large batch, so you’ll have plenty to share even if you save more than a few for yourself.

Coffee and Kahlua Brownie Bites

Coffee and Kahlua Brownie Bites
1/2 cup butter
2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee powder
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Kahlua or homemade coffee liqueur
3/4 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 30 mini muffin cups with paper liners
In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt together butter and dark chocolate in the microwave, stirring occasionally. This should be done in 30-second intervals to avoid overcooking the mixture. Allow mixture to cool slightly.
Pour butter mixture into a large mixing bowl. Whisk sugar, cocoa power and instant coffee into butter mixture.
Whisk in eggs, one at a time, followed by the salt and Kahlua. Whisk in the all purpose flour and stir until flour is just incorporated and no streaks remain.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. They should be quite full.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until brownies are set on the top.
Allow to cool before serving or storing in an airtight container.

Makes 2-1/2 dozen