The Chocolate Lovers On Your List
After the crab dinner we enjoyed before they headed off with their families to Palm Springs for Christmas, they each indulged in a Brownie Bite or two, and a couple of Melting Moments for good measure.
I found this recipe in a long-ago issue of Sunset Magazine. Knowing Sunset, you can probably still search for it on their website but I will share it here to save you the trouble. At one holiday dinner when I brought a plate of assorted cookies as my contribution, everyone there agreed that the Brownie Bites were the best things on the plate.
And they are pretty easy to make, too. The hardest part is getting the rather gooey batter into the tiny cups but with a little practice you will perfect your technique for grabbing a spoonful, twirling it quickly like a glass artist keeping his gather straight, and dolloping it neatly into the cups. Topped with walnuts or pecans, or just served plain, I can pretty much guarantee those groans of pleasure.
Brownie Bites, thanks to Sunset Magazine
1/2 cup (1/4 lb) butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
About 40 walnut or pecan halves
40 tiny candy or muffin cups (about 1-1/2" in diameter)
Melt butter and chocolate together over very low heat in a small pan. Scrape into the mixer bowl (or a larger bowl) and add the sugar and vanilla extract. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour.
Spoon batter into paper-lined tiny 1-1/2 inch diameter) muffin cups, filling almost to the top (I find that the papers will stand on their own and you don't need tiny muffin pans. They will spread a little, but still stay the size of a bite or two). Place a nut half on top of the batter in each cup.
Bake in a 325F oven until the tops look dry and feel firm when lightly touched, about 20 minutes. If you have used a muffin tin, let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. Otherwise, you can just set the cookie sheet on a rack and let them cool. Serve warm or cool (I prefer cooled to room temp).
To store, let cool, then package airtight and hold at room temp up to four days. Makes about 40. I find that they freeze well, too.