Sunday, June 10, 2012

Frosted Mocha Brownies

Somtimes you have a bad day.

And sometimes you have a string of bad days...the likes of which can only be cured by entire days devoted to nothing but nerdy movie marathons watched on the couch in your sweatpants while consuming a probably medically unsafe amount of root beer and chips and salsa, with spoonfuls of brownie batter generously peppered in throughout the day.

I've having those bad days.  A lot of them.  I could bore you with all the garbage happening at work, but it sounds whiney so I don't want to.  Instead, check out the more hilarious and food-related of my misadventures.

The first involved Chipotle.  I've probably discussed the heaven-in-your-mouth experience that is Chipotle a few times here before, but suffice it to say...I love that place.  And unfortunately the nearest of these blessed establishments is about an hour and half away.  So it's a rare, coveted treat.  Anyway.  My work organized a food run the likes of which has never been seen before, because so many people love Chipotle.  They gathered orders a week in advance and made a special run an hour and a half away just to bring like thousands of burritos back for everyone for lunch. 

Anyway.  I was looking forward to it all week.  Of course I didn't pack a lunch that day.  All I could talk about was Chipotle, Chipotle, Chipotle.  So finally, the burritos arrive.  Of the thousands of people that ordered it that day...mine was forgotten.  That's right.  It was the worst.  It was like being the only one not chosen for the football team, times about a million.

So I went down to the cafeteria late, and bought the last of the long since picked-over chicken sandwiches and let me tell you.  No chicken sandwich has ever tasted more disgusting than the one choked down when you were expecting to be eating a delicious burrito.  Ugh.  I'm still a little sad obviously.

The other two incidents involve know... the orange soda?  For this reason I've concluded that I'm supposed to try to quit drinking pop....again.  An impossible task anyway.

So I was sitting with a few friends and coworkers at lunch, including my husband Jim, who was in the midst of telling a hilarious story, which I had both heard and laughed heartily at before.  Anyway for whatever reason...he hadn't even reached the punchline yet and as I was taking a big drink, just the thought of the punchline was so hilarious that I spewed orange soda out my nose and all over the table and myself.  It was like a parody of an elementary school child and milk out the nose.  I have never in my life done this, seen it done, or even really considered it to be physically possible.  It is.  Oh, how it is.  And now those coworkers who didn't know me that well will forever remember me as the "orange soda out the nose girl".  Awesome.  Just a day in the life.

The second orange soda related incident.  I was checking out at the grocery store, hefting a 12-pack of said soda from the bottom of the cart up to the conveyor belt.  It ripped, and a single soda fell to the ground, burst open in such a way that it was spraying a heavy stream of carbonated liquid directly in my face, and just kept spraying as i struggled, like a submariner trying to plug a leak, to stop the madness.  I was drenched.  The lady in front of me got a healthy spraying.  The lady checking me out just shook her head disappointedly in the way in which only an old Georgia lady can and handed me like two paper towels.  I was mortified. 

It's good to look back and laugh at these things, right?  Oh boy.  I'm still cringing a little.

What does this have to do with mocha brownies?  Nothing!  Make them anyway.  Ha!  If you need me I'll be in a pair of men's sweatpants (they're more comfy, admit it) watching back to back episodes of Game of Thrones.

Frosted Mocha Brownies
(adapted from brown eyed baker)


1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
9 tsp instant espresso powder
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla


1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder 
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp (1.5 sticks)
1 3/4 + 1/8 cup powdered sugar
2 1/4 tsp heavy cream

For the brownies, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl, over a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in the sugars and espresso powder.  This should cool the mixture, but if it's still very hot, let it cool a bit before whisking in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture all at once, folding into the chocolate with a rubber spatula.

Butter a 9x13 pan and line it with parchment paper, buttering the paper as well.  Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

For the frosting, while the brownies are baking, dissolve the espresso powder in the vanilla.  Set aside.  In tne bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high for 5 minutes, scraping the sides as needed. 

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, scraping as needed.  Once all the sugar has beena added, whip on high for about 2 minutes until fluffy.  Add the vanilla mixture and mix on high again until incorporated.  Scrape the sides, add the heavy cream, and mix again on medium high until thoroughly combined.

Spread the frosting on the cooled brownies and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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