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RECIPE: Espresso Brownie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s my last day of vacation. Oh, the sorrow. I’ve only had to work 4 days in the past two weeks and going back to this place called “work” seems like such a bizarre concept.  And I woke up this morning thinking about brownies. And coffee. Well, I am always thinking about coffee when I wake up, because I can’t get anything done without a mug of coffee within a few inches of me at all times. So as my last hurrah, I decided to get baking. And eating. Always both.

Once I had sipped my TMNT mug of coffee for a bit all whilst thinking of brownies, I made the executive decision to combine the two. Since I have enough coffee to last until next winter since I bought a bajillion bags from Starbucks after Christmas, so why not throw it into some baked goods? Especially some lovely espresso roast? Why NOT combine my two true loves?

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But then I had all this extra batter left over, because I only had my 8×8 pan. What is one to do with a bunch of extra brownie batter? Oh, I know. TURN IT INTO BROWNIE CUPCAKES. Beautiful brownie cupcakes that are slightly crispy on the outside and so, so chewy.

Brownie cupcake

And did I mentioned I decided that they really, really needed frosting? Like smooth, cream cheese frosting? With brewed coffee, ground coffee, and vanilla bean? Because they definitely did. And it needed to be piped on. The coffee really shines through in the cupcakes and is a such a lovely contrast to the frosting (which I could eat out of the bowl).

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