I’ve never met a brownie I didn’t like. They’re like rainy days, new shoes and old-timey television in that way: No matter how many times you have one, it’s still just as enjoyable.
So when I saw this random recipe, torn out of a magazine, tucked under some other papers on the table, I wasn’t a hard sell. I’d be making them that night.
Nigella Lawson said somewhere that food should be a celebration. (That’s when I knew I liked her, incidentally.) And that’s really what these brownies are.
When I mixed the batter together, its rich, dark color riddled with chips of chocolate and thick in consistency, I kept asking myself, “What should we celebrate?”
I didn’t find an answer immediately.
The next day, driving home from a basketball game, we ate these brownies and some banana bread in the car, celebrating a good night.
The day after that, after seeing my friend for lunch after church, I ate a brownie with my fingers, grabbing bits and taking them with me to the computer.
I ate another at my desk the following morning, and I wish I could say this was with my lunch, but really it was more of a breakfast, on a day when the sun didn’t set until around 5 PM (finally!) and the golden sky signaled hope that winter and its dark days be coming to an end very soon.
When we say food is a celebration, I think we’re acknowledging the ways in which it reminds us to delight in the little things: those Friday nights spent together at home with a bowl of popcorn in front of the TV, or Saturdays spent cleaning out the garage with a tall glass of lemonade and working hard on the housework, or Sundays with a meal shared alongside interesting conversation.
When we celebrate, we are stopping to think about the good things, and taking the time to remember why they’re good.
With these rich, chunky, dense, intensely chocolatey brownies, you’ll find it easy to see what I mean.
I couldn’t eat more than one in a sitting, though I tried, and they’re all the things a good brownie should be. If they were shoes, they’d be a killer pair of black heels, always in style and just a little bit fancy.
In fact, while you’re baking and eating them, you might find they’re a reason to celebrate in and of themselves.
What’s unique about these brownies is their shape. Instead of the normal square brownie, these are baked in mini muffin pans. Bite-sized perfection.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (8 ounces, 2 sticks)
- 2 1/2 cups sugar (15 3/4 ounces)
- 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (3 3/4 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces)
- 2 cups chocolate chips (12 ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two mini muffin tins.
- Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan set over low heat.
- Remove from heat and then add the sugar, stirring to combine.
- Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.
- Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth.
- Add the flour and chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.
- Using a cookie scoop, add one scoop into each section of the mini muffin tin. Repeat until all batter has been used.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Gather Ingredients and Preheat Oven
Bring eggs and butter to room temperature by placing them on the counter about an hour ahead of baking.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease two mini muffin tins and set aside for later use.
Measure out sugar, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, flour, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Sift the flour onto a piece of parchment paper before measuring.
Step 2 – Combine Butter and Sugar
In a medium-sized pot, or in a heat-safe bowl in the microwave, melt the butter. Be careful not to burn or scald it.
Remove the pot from the burner and turn the burner off. Add the sugar to the pot.
Whisk thoroughly, until the sugar and butter are combined completely.
Step 3 – Combine Dry Ingredients and Vanilla
Combine the cocoa, salt, and baking soda, and add the dry mixture to the pot. Whisk to combine completely.
Add the pure vanilla extract. If you prefer, you may use a whole vanilla bean, scraped into the bowl, or you may use vanilla bean paste. The vanilla bean paste is my personal favorite to use when baking.
Step 4 – Whisk in the Eggs
Now, whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Make sure that each is incorporated fully before adding the next.
This is done to ensure that the eggs are fully combined and emulsified with the fats (the butter, in this case) in the batter.
Step 5 – Add Flour and Chocolate Chips
Now it’s time to add the flour. Be sure to mix well, combining the flour into the batter with a spatula or wooden spoon. Make sure no pockets of flour remain.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Step 6 – Bake
Using a cookie scoop, spoon out 1 full scoop into each mini muffin cavity. Repeat this action until all cavities are full. I filled 2 mini muffin trays completely.
Be sure to use the cookie scoop to ensure each well in the tin is filled with equal amounts of batter. This way, all the brownie bites will cook evenly.
Place both pans in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. The brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of one in each tray comes out clean.
Due to inconsistencies in your oven based on the positioning of your trays, both may not be done at the same time. It’s best to arrange them next to each other on the middle rack, if your oven is large enough, for the most consistent baking.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Then, invert the muffin tins to remove brownies and flip upright on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before storing or serve warm.
These brownie bites are best served warm from the oven, but they’re still delicious the next day. A quick pop in the microwave for a few seconds will make them perfectly warm again.
Want even more decadence? Add these to a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Yum!
Perfectly sized for little hands and big ones alike, these brownie bites are delish. I love adding them to packed lunches for a little something sweet. And, how great is it that they are already portion controlled?
When left to my own devices, I, for one, may cut my bar-style desserts a little large. (Shh. Don’t tell.) Bite-sized morsels help keep this girl on track.
Go ahead and give them a try! What is your favorite way to enjoy a brownie? Tell us in the comments below!
Love sweet treats? Be sure to check out this banana bundt cake, vanilla butter cake, and our recipe for carrot cake cupcakes!
Don’t forget to Pin It!
Photos by Leslie Morrison, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on January 23rd, 2009. Last updated: May 13, 2019 at 19:17 pm with additional writing by Leslie Morrison.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.
32 thoughts on “Brownie Bites: A Bite-Sized Indulgence Everyone Will Love”
yes, something this rich and decadent is a great comparision to a pair of black shoes. i love that analogy.
the sun didn’t set til late yesterday too, the sky was still a lovely shade of greyish blue-pink at 530. it gave me hope that Winter is slowly making her exit.
oh deliciousness! i sadly have met brownies over the years that I did not like… but i will try them always, until i get it right!
oh how i love brownies. and your pictures of brownies. especially the one of the already-eaten brownie.
p.s. i just joined a flickr group called “remains of the meal” which is all photos of finished plates. yeah, i’m a dork.
oooh, i think there is plenty of reasons to celebrate lately! and brownies, yum. looks delicious.
I am making these tonight!! Yum!! Sorry I’ve been away from commenting.
The celebration of eating comes from watching people’s eye’s expand as they chew, chew, chew. Getting excited from smelling the aromas in the basement drifting down from the kitchen. Pouring a big glass of m-i-l-k to go with hot brownies! Especially those! They look like chocolate devils…
I… love… your… photos!! I could practically imagine the taste of the chocolaty goodness thanks to your fantastic writing and great photography skills.
These look heavenly!!!
Like you, I’ve never met a brownie (or sweet, for that matter) that I didn’t like. Those look great!
Love love LOVE these photos. They do their job as I now require a stack of brownies.
Those brownies look perfect! Those are my favorite kind of brownies, fudgy and dark. I love your writing, by the way, great blog!
Just popped by from tastespotting…Great photos!
Saw these on tastespotting and had to tell you how awesome they look. Makes me want to bake up a batch right now.
Great photos, they are making me want a brownie. Actually they are making me want one of your brownies. Speaking of Nigella, have you tried her brownie recipes? They are very good.
I love how you made your brownies round. What an elegant touch!
Lan: That we both had long-daylight days must mean something. Crossing my fingers.
Montague: I really tried to think of one I hated, and, well, nothing. Even those sad little ones (maybe Little Debbie brand?) in the plastic wrap? I’ll eat them, it’s true. Love your persistence in looking for the best recipe. I should really recommend Nigella’s, which, although they have like SIX eggs in them, are pure heaven.
Jacqui: Thanks for telling me about that Flickr group. Just joined and love it!
Kickpleat: No snow for a whole week! LOST returning! A wonderful weekend! You’re right. The reasons just keep coming!
No prob, Nealy. I assume classes are keeping you busy!! Can’t wait to hear more about things.
DD: Now why’d you gotta go and make my mouth water like that?
finsmom: Aw, thanks!
E.P.: We are now friends.
Kendra @ MFK: Right? It’s hard to make a brownie look bad. I mean, come on!
Thank you, Katie! I love YOUR blog!
Isn’t Tastespotting awesome, Ingrid and Donna? Thanks for stopping by and for the comments.
Gemma: Proving again that you have excellent taste, you mention Nigella’s brownies. They are my all-time favorite, and that’s saying something. I think they’d make a lovely birthday dessert, all decorated with candles. Maybe she does that in a book? It feels like I didn’t come up with the idea!
Jennifer: I know, right? I never would’ve thought of it but for the original recipe’s picture. So cute!
This recipe looks really terrific. I think I’ll try it some time.
just made these and they smell delicious! I like that they aren’t too dense of a brownie that they don’t rise. I’ve been looking for a taller, thicker brownie and these are great. Thanks for sharing!
TJ – I hope you do!
Alicia – I’m so glad you’ve gotten to try them and enjoy them! Thanks for coming back around here to tell me!
Thanks so much for letting me know, mpb! Glad you enjoyed it!
Great recipe! Thank you for posting it. I was a little skeptical at first because all the other cooking blog’s recipes had been disasters. These were a real treat, bett er than the box & just freakin’ amazing. Thank you!!
I’m with you – never met a brownie I don’t like (umm…unless I burn them – ouch)! I love the presentation, never woulda thought. I’ve bookmarked these on my delicious so I can come back and make them when we can have a treat (I’m thinking we need one, like, tomorrow?)
love when brownies are in circles! it’s like they are brownies AND cookies in one. we are officially new blog friends. i love your writing, love it. not to mention the obsession with food, that goes without saying…
These look awesome. I think it’s brownie time! BTW, great photography!
Made these this afternoon as a treat, specifically requested by my 3 year old 🙂 He came to the computer to “shop” for what we wanted to make, and these were his choice, Shanna. They were delicious! Cut them into heart-shapes instead of circles.
Thought you might like to know that I substituted Sucanat for all of the sugar as well as used 1/2 cup coconut oil as a replacement for 1/2 of the butter, and they turned out great. I love using Sucanat, and have found for almost all baked goods I can successfully substitute it for white/brown sugar – every once in a while a more delicate treat needs the white stuff, but brownies and cookies can almost always benefit from the Sucanat sub.
Amanda, AMEN to what you said about Sucanat, and it makes me so crazy happy to hear someone else using good ingredients like coconut oil in their baking. And you cut them into heart shapes? So. cute. Thanks for telling me how it went! I’m so glad you guys liked them!
Thanks, Jane! Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Followed the recipe exactly and used dark chocolate chips. Amazingly perfect! Thanks!
Can you freeze these?
What size scope or number did you use for the brownie bites?
I’m sorry, Ann, but I’m not sure what you mean exactly. This recipe was made in a standard mini muffin tin (about 1 inch) with a yield of 48 bites. Hope this helps to answer your question!