Place sugar and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until thick and pale (about 5 minutes). Combine hot water and coffee granules, stirring until coffee granules dissolve. Add coffee mixture, butter, and vanilla extract to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until combined.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring just until moist (batter will be thick).
Spread batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 23 minutes or until brownies spring back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Garnish brownies with powdered sugar, if desired.
When these brownies came out of the oven, they were what I would call "acceptable." after only a few hours, they were dry and almost not worth my calories. I have found other recipes that are light versions of brownies that were far more moist and appealing. While they contain a decent amount of chocolate taste, it is too dry to be called "fudgy." I prefer Devin Alexander's Double Chocolate Espresso Brownies when I am craving a fudgy mocha version of a light brownie. I will keep searching for a base light brownie recipe that can be manipulated easily and leave room for creativity. I won't bother with these again.
This is my go-to recipe when I need a last minute dessert for a dinner or visit. It's easy to make, turns out moist and chocolate-y. Usually is gobbled up quickly. I've probably made this twenty times since I came across this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine.