PMS espresso-chocolate-walnut brownies

Light, gooey, and very chocolaty, with just the right amount of buzz to counter a monthly mood attack. On the bodacious brownie scale, a 10!


Makes 64 bite-sized brownies


Vegetable-oil cooking spray
3/4 cup walnuts chopped
1 cup cake flour, or 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons espresso beans finely ground
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line the pan with aluminum foil; then spray the foil with cooking spray.

Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder into a small bowl. Stir in the ground espresso and set aside.

Fill a medium saucepan one-third full with water and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heat-proof bowl and set over the simmering water. Turn the heat to low. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently, until completely smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture just until the flour is absorbed. Stir in the nuts.

Pour the batter evenly into the pan. Bake until a crust forms on top and the center is still somewhat gooey, but not Baywatch jiggly, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan set on a rack. Refrigerate 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch squares to serve.


Keep those extra brownies in the freezer. As the crabby mood kicks in, pop one of these trufflelike gems. Better than Motrin, and twice the fun.