Espresso Brownies

These brownies are addicting – I must warn you!! You will get rave reviews from friends and family to make these ALL OF THE TIME! I I found this recipe in a Giada de Laurentis cookbook and have been making them every Christmas for the past 7 years because they became such a showstopper at holiday parties! They are very rich so I suggest cutting the brownies into very small bite size pieces. They hold up well in the fridge so you can easily make a day or two in advance and then wrap up as a gift or to bring to a party.

ingredients:
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 (19.8-ounce) box brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Whisk 1/3 cup of water, oil, eggs, and 2 tablespoons espresso powder in a large bowl to blend. Add the brownie mix. Stir until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, dissolve the remaining 2 teaspoons of espresso powder in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and butter and whisk until smooth. Pour the glaze over the brownies. Refrigerate until the glaze is set. Cut into bite-size pieces.