Spicy espresso chocolate brownies

The combination of a brownie and a cup of coffee is delectable. How can you improve on a classic, you ask? Adding espresso powder to the mix will intensify the chocolate flavor of the brownie. Looking for an added kick? Adding chili and cayenne brings a subtle depth to the finished product. The brownie now tastes like a rich, mouthwatering chocolate bite of heaven, with a kick of something extra. Want even more flavor? Along with this delicious spicy espresso brownie, I have included a chocolate coffee icing to die for. Only one thing left to do. Get baking and enjoy!

Ingredients

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1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon espresso powder – (Click here to see how to make your own espresso powder)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon chili powder*

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper*

*The spice is optional, and you can increase or decrease depending on the amount of kick you would like. I would increase both by ¼ teaspoon, but I like it hot!


Directions

1) Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

2) In a large bowl combine butter sugar and vanilla. Fold the eggs in and mix well.

3) In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, chili, cayenne, espresso powder, and salt. Mix well.

4) Gradually blend cocoa mixture into the egg mixture.

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5) Spread the batter in a 9 inch square pan and bake until the brownies begin to separate from the side of the pan. This should take approximately 20 minutes.

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6) Once cooled, frost with your favorite frosting. A coffee frosting is presented below*.

7) Cut into squares and enjoy!

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*Chocolate coffee frosting

Cream 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in your mixer. Once creamed, mix in 1 tablespoon milk, 1/4 cup room temperature coffee, and a 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 1 and 1/4 heaping cup of confectioners sugar in slowly, continuously mixing until desired consistency is achieved.

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