The best brownies have crackly tops with gooey centers and crispy outer edges. Are you drooling yet? Dark baking cocoa and dark chocolate chips really makes these brownies unbelievably decadent. They are still sweet and everything you expect from a brownie, just with an extra bite of bitterness. Add in the depth from the instant coffee granules and this isn’t just your regular brownie recipe; this has some zing to it. Do you have to add the instant coffee? Nope! Can you use regular baking cocoa and milk chocolate chips? Yes, but trust me on the dark chocolate. You can rest easy in the fact that you’re gifting something that’s not only fun, but will also taste delicious.
A single batch of the brownie mix will fit into a pint size mason jar nicely. If you’re keeping the mix for yourself you can mix all the ingredients in together and put the lid on and store. For gifting I like to layer each ingredient in to make it look like beautiful sand art. When putting each layer into the jar I make sure to use a spoon and pack everything down tightly. This will keep the ingredients from shifting when you transport for gifting. If using a two piece mason jar lid you can slide a piece of festive fabric or paper in between the lid and the ring to dress up the jar. Paper cupcake liners also make a fun and easy decoration for between the lid and ring.
When baking I recommend lining your baking pan with parchment paper. You can use a well oiled baking pan, but the parchment paper helps you to remove the brownies cleanly and they are much easier to cut outside the pan. You can carefully measure strips of parchment paper to line the pan; however, the easiest way is to pull off a sheet large enough to cover your pan and then crinkle it up in a tight ball. Then you can unwrap it and line your pan: easy and effective.
Because of their dark color it can be hard to tell when your brownies have finished baking. If you left them bake too long the sugars will caramelize and stiffen making them tough and chewy. Too short of a baking time will leave you with inedible raw batter. I can tell when my brownies are done by gently shaking the pan in the oven. They shouldn’t wobble, meaning they are loose and undercooked. Alternatively, if they are starting to puff up in the center and crack then you are venturing into over baking them.
Brownie Mix Ingredients:
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/3 cup of dark baking coco powder
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1 tablespoon of instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
- In the bottom of a pint size mason jar tightly pack down sugar.
- Sprinkle baking powder and salt on top.
- Carefully layer the baking cocoa on top of the white layer, making sure to pack everything down tight.
- Sprinkle instant coffee granules on top of baking cocoa.
- Carefully layer the flour on top of the baking cocoa layer, making sure to pack everything down tight.
- Fill the jar the rest of the way with chocolate chips.
- Fasten the lid and decorate as wanted.
- 1/2 cup of oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a 9” by 9” baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl add the contents of the brownie mix jar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
- Mix well.
- Smooth brownie mix into baking pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Allow to cool before slicing into bars.