Triple Espresso Brownies


1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee crystals
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 lightly beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee crystals
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Coarsely chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans (optional)
Instant espresso powder (optional)


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or coffee crystals. Add the 1 cup butter and the chocolate pieces. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate and butter are melted. Remove from heat. Add granulated sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, lightly beat the mixture just until combined. Stir in flour; walnuts, if desired; and salt. Spread in prepared pan.

2.Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

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3.Meanwhile, for the frosting, place powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the 1/4 cup butter, 2 tablespoons boiling water, the coffee liqueur or 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or coffee crystals, and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Spread frosting evenly over cooled brownies. If desired, sprinkle with coarsely chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans and additional espresso powder. Cut into bars. Makes 48 brownies.