Rich Chocolate Toffee Brownies

Rich Chocolate Toffee Brownies

When I first started freelancing, Will was an infant — one who didn’t cry a lot but who was still vocal. Very vocal. Back then, I freelanced mostly for a local newspaper and my work required me to conduct phone interviews often with Will playing in a baby gym or Exersaucer nearby. Sometimes, I took him with me on assignments too. Fortunately, everyone I dealt with was understanding when our interviews were punctuated by yells of Ah-GOOOOOOOO.

That’s what made working online so alluring. Will could make as much noise as he wanted, and it was fine. I could cook, blog and later even photograph things and noise was a non-issue. And the freedom of it all? It made everything so worth it.

These days, with two kids I’ve learned that noise can get a whole lot bigger than baby coos. Also, I’ve grown accustomed to having the sounds of play around almost constantly … except with school back in, they aren’t so constant anymore. Several afternoons each week, I am all alone at home while both kids are in school. And instead of savoring the silence, it’s deafening. I find myself turning on music or the television for background noise. Go figure.

Chocolate Toffee Brownies

As much as I appreciate having those hours alone to work, it’s just different — and that can put me a little off-kilter. While I am still adjusting to the new school year, I find that a little comfort food (and of course background noise) helps.

These Rich Chocolate Toffee Brownies, served with a cold glass of milk, are perfect for that. These fall more towards the cake-y end of the spectrum, baking up moist and dense. Bits of toffee dot the batter and bake into it, a secret surprise that sneaks up on you. It’s delightful.

Rich Chocolate Toffee Brownies with Coffee Inside

Besides the secret bits of toffee, these have another secret ingredient: Starbucks VIA. I use Decaf Italian Roast in them to really bring out the chocolate flavor. It makes them irresistibly rich (as instant coffee does for any chocolate baked good). Thanks to Starbucks for the VIA to make these, and be sure to scroll all the way down to the end of this post to learn about the giveaway.

Tell me, do you find the adjustment to a silent house hard when kids are in school?

Rich Chocolate Toffee Brownies
Serves: yields 12 big brownies (or 48 bite sized ones)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate
  • 1¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 package Starbucks VIA instant coffee (recommended: Decaf Italian Roast)
  • 1 cup toffee pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking oil spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter and chocolate together, whisking until combined. Remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Drizzle in the chocolate, whisking constantly, until fully combined. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and VIA instant coffee. Add to the chocolate mixture and whisk well until combined. Fold in the toffee pieces.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Tap gently to even out the top.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Use a toothpick inserted in the center to determine. If it comes out clean, the brownies are done.
  7. Let cool before cutting.




Starbucks has generously offered a culinary kit for me to giveaway to one lucky reader. It will include Starbucks VIA coffee, recipes and other goodies.

Congrats to commenter #1 – Rachel – who was selected via Random Number Generator.


Disclosure: Starbucks provided me with samples of their Via instant coffee. However, I wasn’t required to write about them, nor did that influence the opinions in this post. All opinions are my own. Also, I was not otherwise compensated for this. The giveaway is being provided by Starbucks though.


    • sarah says

      Congratulations, Rachel! The Random Number Generator chose comment 1 — Yours! I’ll be contacting you shortly.

  1. Dee says

    I love dark and white chocolate brownies (I guess the marble brownies). I think they taste divine and I like the mixture of taste! :)

  2. Gramma22 says

    I totally use the VIA when making my iced coffees. Haven’t tried it in a recipe yet, but those brownies are calling my name!

  3. Ally says

    My favourite brownies are those with heath bar bits and chocolate chips, with extra cocoa powder and vanilla.
    As for the quiet house thing, I always have to have the TV on. It’s strange when it’s quiet!

  4. Kristen says

    These bownies look so so delicious! My usual fall back recipe is brownies cockaigne but I will have to try this one for a new twist! I have made delicious cakes using coffee, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be just as great as a brownie.

  5. shala_darkstone says

    I love chocolate brownies with peanut butter. I actually just bought Via for the first time but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. Can’t wait!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: