Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
8 (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate baking squares
½ cup plus 2 tbs. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
4 tsp. instant espresso coffee (I used Medaglia d'oro)
4 tbs. plus 2 tsp. coffee liqueur, divided (I used Sabroso)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tbs. whipping cream or half-and-half
2 tbs. vodka
2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
Garnish: chocolate-covered espresso coffee beans
Melt 6 chocolate baking squares and ½ cup butter in saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and transfer to large bowl. Add sugars and stir well. Stir in eggs, 2 tsp. espresso coffee, and 2 tsp. coffee liqueur. Add flour and salt, stirring until blended. Stir in pecans.
Spread batter into lightly greased aluminum foil-lined 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until brownies appear set on top. Cool completely in pan. Use foil to lift uncut brownies out of the pan.
Melt remaining 2 chocolate baking squares and 2 tbs. butter in heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in remaining 2 tsp. espresso powder, whipping cream, vodka, and remaining 4 tbs. coffee liqueur. Add enough powdered sugar to make a good spreading consistency, beating at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled brownies. Garnish with chopped (or whole if small) espresso beans. Let stand until frosting is set.