Maida Heatter was one of my first cooking mentors and influenced me and my baking through her cookbooks, “Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts,” and “Maida Heatter’s Best Dessert Book Ever.” Her recipes are carefully researched, well thought out, and meticulous. Yet, they are easy to follow and they are always foolproof. I guess that is what drew them to me initially, the foolproof part. Either that or our shared obsession with desserts, especially chocolate.
If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, I am certain that you have noticed the pattern of an almost weekly dessert and my appetite for chocolate desserts, especially a simple cookie or brownie. So I began my quest for a new recipe for a brownie with a bit of a different twist. I was thrilled to discover these West Coast Brownies in Maida Heatter’s cookbook.
Maida describes these extra moist and chewy brownies that were originally known as “brownie points” that were made by a baker, Richard Melcombe at his bakery in Venice, California. She found the recipe for “brownie points” in a newspaper one day and created her personalized version of West Coast brownies with the addition of Kahlua or cognac and vanilla.
I always gravitate towards brownie recipes with brown sugar and coffee flavors such as my Coffee Rani brownies. These West Coast brownies have a coffee richness and complexity from the addition of the Kahlua and the espresso.
The brownie batter is baked in a parchment-lined sheet pan. The brownies are thin, a little soft, and chewy. Yum, all of my favorite things. After the brownies cool they can be cut into small squares. You should expect to get about 32 bite sized brownies from this recipe. You will have plenty of brownies to share with friends!
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