Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rocky Road Brownies

January is finally over...is it just me or did you think this month seemed like it would never end? I don't want to sound as though I'm wishing time away but c'mon...enough January already!

So, Happy February! Been waiting for you. The month to celebrate with chocolate. My kind of month. And to start this month off right, I knew a chocolatey brownie recipe had to be first.

This one's from a book I just bought called, "Marshmallows, Homemade Gourmet Treats", by Eileen Talanian. It's, of course, chock full of new and unusual marshmallow recipes that I'll be trying in the days and months ahead but today I went with the Rocky Road Brownies.

I've actually been a marshmallow making machine lately, boiling, whipping and cutting out all kinds of shapes, including the hearts you see below. And I chose these brownies because I'm always left with so many marshmallow scraps when I cut out the shaped ones. So this recipe was a chance to use up some of them. Have you ever made marshmallows? They're really kind of fun to make...and even more fun to eat!

These Rocky Road Brownies are a little different than other recipes I've read in that the marshmallows, chocolate chips and nuts are stirred into the batter rather than being placed on top of the batter. I think they're easier to eat this way. You don't take a bite and have the topping come off with it. They're dense and fudgey and very chocolatey. Valentine's Day isn't far off and these would be great!

Melt the butterand the chocolates in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring til it begins to get smooth.
Then take it off the heat and set aside.
You can also combine the flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl at this time and set that aside, too.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla and salt together, til thick, smooth and light in color.

Slowly add the melted chocolate mixture, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Give that a spin for a little longer...

Then slowly add the flour/cocoa mixture, stirring with a rubber spatula...

Then beat again with the mixer another 30 seconds.

Stir in the marshmallows, nuts and chocolate chips.

Spread into your prepared pan. ( I halved the recipe and used an 8" square pan).
The batter is very thick so you may just have to use your fingers...I did and I wet my fingers so the batter wouldn't stick too much.
It's so thick that even before baking the batter looks cooked!
Then bake approx. 35 minutes or til a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. The top will be smooth and shiny.
Rocky Road Brownies ( from "Marshmallows, Homemade Gourmet Treats", by Eileen Talanian)

2 oz. unsalted butter
6 ozs. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 oz. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar ( I used light brown), firmly packed
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups marshmallows, cut into 1/2" pieces ( or use store bought mini marshmallows)
Peanuts or other nuts, coarsely chopped ( the recipe doesn't specify amount so I just threw in a handful for half the recipe, just to give you an idea).
Chocolate chips ( the recipe didn't call for these so you could leave them out. Again, I threw in a handful for half the recipe)
Note: If you're using homemade marshmallow pieces, the marshmallows need to be left out for 24 hours, then coated in 2 tbsp. of flour before adding to the batter.
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 x 2 inch (or 8" square pan if halving the recipe)with foil and butter the foil.
1. In a double boiler over barely simmering water, melt the 2 oz. of butter and chocolates, stirring occasionally tilthe mixture is almost all melted, then take it off the heat and it set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour and sifted cocoa powder and set that aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, cream the 4 oz. of butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla and salt on medium high for 4 to5 minutes or til thick, smooth and light in color.
4. Turn the mixer down to medium speed and slowly add the melted chocolate mixture. Continue beating for 30 seconds after the chocolate has been added.
5. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the flour/cocoa mixture. Stir the flour mixture into the batter a few stirs, then beat the mixture on low speed for 20 seconds.
6. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure it's all mixed well.
7. Stir in the marshmallow, nuts and chocolate chips.
8. Spread the batter into the pan using wet fingers, if necessary. The batter will be very thick.
9. Bake for approx. 35 minutes, or til a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. You don't want to overbake them.
10. Allow them to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then lift out and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. Placing them in the fridge before cutting will help to get you nice clean slices. Or pop into the freezer about 15 minutes before cutting.

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