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Hugs and Kisses Brownies with a Cup of Joe

Adapted from Nestle’s verybestbaking.com
Makes 1 - 9” x 13” pan of brownies
Author Wendy Sondov themondaybox.com

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup baking cocoa I used Dutch processed, Droste’s, for a darker color and richer taste
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 2/3 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips or quartered Hershey’s Hugs
  • 1 cup Hershey’s mini baking kisses or milk chocolate chips
  • 18 Hershey’s white chocolate Hugs cut in half (bottom to point)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare one 9” x 13” pan depending on use. If you plan to mail the entire pan of brownies in a disposable pan, lightly grease the disposable pan with vegetable shortening. If you plan to remove the brownies from the baking pan ( to wrap whole, to wrap after cutting, or to cut and eat at home), foil line the width of the pan allowing for a little overhang (for easy lifting later) and spray with non-stick spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the shortening, sugar, and eggs. Beat until light in color and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  5. Gradually add in the flour mixture, until combined.
  6. Stir in the white chips and mini kisses.
  7. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan (it will be thick), using a spatula or spoon to even out the batter into the entire pan and smooth the surface.
  8. Place halved Hugs in any design you wish on surface of brownie batter. (No need to press. The batter will rise around the Hug as it bakes.)
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The toothpick test doesn’t work very well because of all of the melting chocolate chips. If the top is firm after 25 minutes, take it out. (Mine baked for 28 minutes). Cool completely in the pan.
  10. To remove the brownies from the pan for cutting, slide a knife around the pan edges that are not covered in foil then lift the over hanging foil.
  11. Store brownies at room temperature in an airtight container or zip lock bag for at least 2 weeks.

Packing Tips

If using a disposable pan, make sure to cool completely before wrapping the pan in foil then in plastic wrap. Cut brownies can be double wrapped in plastic or wrapped in foil then plastic before storing in an airtight container or zip lock bag.