The funny part about this is that Mike and I aren’t big drinkers. He enjoys a good whiskey or bourbon, and I can manage a small glass of wine without getting a migraine so long as I drink tons of water with it. But we’re really not the kinds of people who have fully stocked liquor cabinets; when I need specific types of alcohol for baking, I usually buy miniature bottles from the state store. I have no idea where we got the amaretto, but it inspired these treats, which accompanied Mike to his masonic lodge meeting tonight. I imagine the masons – especially our friend Kevin – will enjoy them.
For the brownies
- 1 cup butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons amaretto
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 1/4 cups Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
For the frosting
- 5 1/3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons amaretto
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons almond extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and stir to combine, then heat until the mixture is just hot, 110 to 120 degrees, but not bubbly.
Pour sugar mixture into a large bowl and add amaretto, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Add cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder, stirring to combine. Add eggs and stir until smooth. Add flour and stir to combine, until no dry streaks remain. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool brownies completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, combine butter, amaretto, and 1 tablespoon almond extract in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute; mixture will be clumpy, but it will smooth out once you add the powdered sugar. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth between each addition. Add remaining 1/2 to 1 additional tablespoon almond extract to taste.
Spread frosting over cooled brownies; cut into 24 squares. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.