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Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Malted Buttercream via Relishing It

What should you make for the special people in your life for Valentine’s Day?  I’ve been waiting to answer that question for awhile now.  These cute little brownies are the perfect sweet treats for your loved ones.  I love brownies when I need a chocolate fix.   These, from an earlier post, are always a hit.  They have a perfect balance of chocolate-y chewiness.  And these are fabulous when I’m in the mood for something a little out of the ordinary. But the fudge brownie bites with chocolate malted buttercream that you see here are perfect for turning brownies into an indulgent dessert for Valentine’s Day.  The chocolate malted buttercream is spectacular.

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To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how many batches of these I made this summer.  They’ve become a favorite in our house.  And in the mini-muffin pan, they’re transformed into perfect bite-sized treats.  The brownie is more chewy than cake-like, which is how I prefer them.  The stirred-in chocolate chips add a nice pool of chocolate throughout .  Yes, they’re delicious on their own, but the malted-milk buttercream frosting makes these mini-desserts.

Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Malted Buttercream via Relishing It

Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Malted Buttercream via Relishing It

I’ll be baking up another batch of these sweets for our Valentine’s Day this year.  We’ve had a tradition for years– even before our little ones were born– of making a nice meal, opening a bottle of wine, and enjoying a candlelight dinner at home.  Now that we have kids, I always look forward to making a meal with them.  In the past we’ve had a nice pasta dish, such as this one.  Heart shaped pizzas would be fun, too.  Though, I’ve been in the mood for seafood lately, so this is also an option.  Whatever we choose to make, I know it will be fun.  Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Malted Buttercream via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Malted Buttercream

(makes an 8×8 square pan or 24 mini-brownie bites)

For the Fudge Brownies:

3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon espresso powder

1/2 cup butter

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (preferably Ghiradelli’s 60% cacao)

For the Chocolate Malted Buttercream: 

(Note: double this buttercream recipe if you enjoy your brownie bites loaded with frosting, such as in the photos.  If you prefer a normal amount, one batch will be fine)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons malted milk powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.  Prepare either an 8×8-inch square pan or a mini-muffin pan with either butter/flour, or a shot of cooking spray with the flour in it.  Set aside.

To make the brownies:  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a microwave for 25 seconds (or you place the bowl of chocolate/butter over a saucepan of steaming water).  Stir and repeat until the chocolate is melted.  Whisk in the brown and granulated sugars, and espresso powder.  Then, mix in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla.  When it is uniform, fold in the flour mixture, being careful not to over mix.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Bake for 25-30 minutes for the 8×8-inch pan or 14-16 minutes for the mini-muffin pan.  A tester inserted should come out clean and the tops of them should be slightly cracked with a bit of color around the edges.  Cool in 8×8-inch pan completely.  Remove the mini-brownies once they have cooled in the pan for about 3 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:  Mix together the cream and malted milk powder.  Set aside.  In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (a hand mixer or your muscles will work, too), cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and salt for about 3 minutes on medium speed.  As always, scrape down the sides of the mixer, as necessary.  Add about 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low to combine.  Add the milk and vanilla and mix.  Slowly add the cream/malted milk mixture while mixing on medium speed.  Mix until it is the consistency you like, add more powdered sugar, if necessary.

Spread frosting onto cooled brownies.  They will keep well for days covered with aluminum foil or in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Joy Wilson’s Joy the Baker Cookbook

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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