1 box (18.3-19.5 ounces/family size) dark chocolate brownie mix
1 egg (see note)
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½ cup vegetable oil (see note)
¼ cup water (see note)
¼ cup bourbon, divided
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2-3 cups powdered sugar
3 slices cooked crisp bacon, crumbled
For the brownie bites: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat two mini muffin tins with nonstick spray.
Prepare the brownie batter with eggs, oil and water directed on the box, only cut back the water by half and make up the difference with bourbon.
Scoop the batter into prepared tins, filling each cup about halfway. Depending on the size of the muffin tin, you'll get 36 to 48 mini brownie bites. Bake 20-24 minutes. The brownie should be crisp around the edges.
Once pans are out of the oven, use the rounded end of a wooden spoon (or similar tool) to indent each mini muffin making a cup shape.
For the filling: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add salt. Allow to bubble for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in remaining bourbon then beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency.
Spoon or pipe frosting onto cooled brownie bites. Garnish with bacon crumbles.
Makes 36 to 48.
Cook's notes: Use the amount of egg, oil and water as directed on package. If desired, you can spike the filling with 2 to 3 tablespoons bourbon.
For S'mores Brownie Bites: Prepare batter without bourbon and bake as directed. In a large bowl beat 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème with 6 ounces room temperature cream cheese until smooth. Pipe or spoon onto cooled brownie bites. Garnish several bits with S'mores Crunch Crumble-ons, available at crumbleons.com.
Deborah Pankey Daily Herald Food Editor