Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brownie Bites

I found the recipe for these dark little beauties many moons ago in Sunset magazine. I can always tell when I've cut out a recipe from Sunset, as the type face (this was 'way before "font" entered the general lexicon) is distinctive. As soon as I tried them, I added them to my Christmas cookie repertoire for the brownie lovers in the crowd.

These are very small, easy to finish in two bites. They are made not in cupcake papers but in candy cups, perhaps 1" across. That's fun, as candy cups come in bright colors, or even silver or gold foil, which sets off the deep brown of the cookies very prettily.

Those of you who prefer no-nut brownies (are you nuts?) will be glad to know that the nuts are just placed on top, not mixed in, so they are easy to delete.

Brownie Bites, from Sunset magazine, who got it from Jan Macauley of Spring Valley, CA

1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter (the recipe is so old that it actually allowed margarine as an alternative to butter but I know you would never commit so egregious a sin)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
About 40 walnut halves (they do look prettier with the nut halves, but I couldn't find any this year so I made do with chopped nuts. I have also used pecan halves and they are cool, too)

In a 2 or 3 quart pan, stir butter and chocolate over lowest heat until melted (don't get impatient and burn the chocolate by raising the heat). Remove pan from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour.

On a baking sheet, place about 40 of the candy cups. Spoon batter into paper-lined tiny (1.5 inch diameter) cups, filling cups almost to the top. Place a walnut half on top of batter in each cup.

Bake in a 325 degree oven until the tops look dry and feel firm when lightly touched, about 20 minutes.

Let brownies cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. To store, let cool completely, then package air tight and hold at room temperature up to four days. (They freeze well, too). Makes about 40.

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