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Sunday, February 15, 2009


* 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee crystals
* 1 tablespoon boiling water
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
* 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 3 eggs
* 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
* 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
* Cream Cheese Frosting
* Brownie Glaze
* Chocolate-covered coffee beans (optional)

1. In a small bowl, dissolve espresso powder in boiling water; set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter and bittersweet chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool.

2. Meanwhile, line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Grease foil; set pan aside. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture in saucepan; add espresso mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in nuts. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until top appears set and dry. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Spread the Brownie Glaze evenly over frosting. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or until glaze is set.

5. Before serving, use foil to lift brownies out of pan. Cut into bars. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. If you like, garnish with chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Makes 48 bars.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat one 3-ounce package softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in 1 cup additional powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.

Brownie Glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine 6 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons whipping cream and 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee crystals. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; cool for 30 minutes.

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