Coffee Nut M&M's Espresso Brownie Mugs
I came across the new Coffee Nut M&M's and figured I had to make something with them! First off, there's nothing coffee I don't love, and my mom always gave me Peanut M&M's to snack on growing up. They're full of protein, right?! Totally healthy. I loved all the mini hot chocolate cookie mugs that were all over the place over the holidays and figured I could make some espresso brownie mugs to incorporate them into.
So first I made my favorite fudgey brownies and added in some instant espresso powder. And by some, I mean a lot. Did I mention I love coffee? I rolled the batter into tablespoon size balls and patted down the little balls into a greased mini muffin pan. Once out of the oven, I took the back of my round tablespoon and pushed it into each brownie. This give it a little cup shape. While those were baking and cooling I got started on handles.
For those I just melted down some chocolate and piped out some backward c-shapes. Helpful tip, you want the bottom of the c-shape to be slightly longer than the top so fits straight, or at least straight-ish, on your angled brownie bites.
After those hardened and my brownie bites were completely cool, I attached the handles by piping two little chocolate spots onto the side of the brownies and sticking it on. You want to make sure to put enough chocolate on there that they don't fall over. It should stay in place without you holding it there.
I then put them back in the muffin pan at an angle to hold them up to dry into place.
Then I topped with some Espresso Buttercream. And for finishing touches I piped on some white chocolate hearts and drizzle before topping with a Coffee Nut M&M. I would recommend putting on the hearts before the buttercream to make it a little easier. And when you put the drizzle on you want to act fast to put the M&M on there before the drizzle hardens so it doesn't crack.
COFFEE NUT M&M'S ESPRESSO BROWNIE MUGS INGREDIENTS
makes 24 brownie mugs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tbs instant espresso powder
2 ounces chocolate
Espresso Buttercream (recipe below)
2 ounces white chocolate
Coffee Nut M&M's
ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5-2 cups confectioners powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant espresso powder
up to 2 tbsp milk or heavy cream
COFFEE NUT M&M'S ESPRESSO BROWNIE MUGS INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan, set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy.
In a small bowl, whip egg, vanilla, and instant espresso powder together. Pour into butter-sugar mixture and beat until combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and flour. Add to rest of mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be thick, which is exactly what you want for rolling your balls.
Roll tablespoon size balls of the batter and place in greased mini muffin pan. Pat down each ball slightly so it forms into the shape of the mold.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out dry with just a few crumbs. This is good time to make your Espresso Buttercream, recipe below. As soon as your brownies are out of the oven, take a round tablespoon and push down into the middle of each brownies so it forms a little cup shape.
When brownies are almost down cooling, make your handles. Melt 2 ounces of chocolate, per instructions on package, and place in a piping bag fitted with a #2 piping tip. Pipe backward c-shapes onto parchment or wax paper. Tip, make sure that the bottom of the c-shape is slightly longer than the top so it fits straight onto the angled side of the brownie.
Once your brownies are completely cool and your handles have hardened, pipe two dots of chocolate onto the side of each mug and stick a handle on. If you pipe enough chocolate it should stay on there without you holding it. I advise placing the bites back into the mini muffin pan at an angle with the handles sticking up to let harden.
Once your handles have hardened on, melt 2 ounces white chocolate, per instructions on package. Place in a piping bag fitted with a #2 piping tip and pipe hearts onto the middle of your mugs.
Then with a 1/2-inch closed star pastry tip, I used an Ateco 846, pipe on your Espresso Buttercream onto the top of each brownie mug.
Pipe on your white chocolate drizzle (you may have to reheat your white chocolate, you can do this by removing the metal tip and placing in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or so) and top with a Coffee Nut M&M. I recommend placing the Coffee Nut M&M after each drizzle so your drizzle doesn't harden and crack when you put the M&M on.
ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM INSTRUCTIONS
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add 1.5 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn't blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. In a small bowl mix your vanilla extract and instant espresso powder together until espresso powder is well incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla-espresso mixture. Beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time.