Glorified Brownies for your BOTW

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Do you ever crave comfort food? Food that maybe isn’t too difficult or time consuming to make, but also kind of makes you… happy…? I made that sort of food yesterday when I made these Glorified Brownies. Getting the recipe from an old cookbook that doesn’t have pictures, I didn’t know what to expect, but they (the  ingredients and the whole process, that is) looked very promising, so I decided to give them a try. The results were as good as they sounded, brownies with a layer of melted marshmallows on top and then a chocolate frosting to finish it off. Yes, I was quite happy.

I first thought about trying this combination with a different brownie, but upon further tasting and thinking, I figured out why this particular brownie suits the combination of marshmallows and chocolate frosting so well; it’s because the brownie itself is not overly sweet, making it the perfect bottom layer for all that marshmallow chocolatey goodness on top.

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The brownie has actually more of a cake like consistency and when you are mixing that part up you are wondering how it’s all going to work out, but it does!

The only thing I might change, would be the addition of chocolate chips. Maybe bittersweet? Mini semisweet? If you decide to try this recipe with chocolate chips before I do, let me know how it is!

The lowdown: A cake like brownie topped with gooey melted marshmallows and finished off with a delicious chocolate frosting. Easy, simple and tasty, these brownies would be great for any event or sudden craving – be sure to have some napkins on hand, though!

Cottura felice!

Notes:
~ If you are like me and don’t have a 9×11 pan, then you can do what I did and make your own! I took a 9×13 pan and lined it with foil, but did not line the whole pan. About 2 inches before the opposite edge from where I began, I stopped and folded the foil up to have a make shift side that would give me the correct measurement, i.e. 11 inches instead of 13. Hopefully this picture will help you visualize it!

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~ When making the frosting, you may need to add a little more milk, but be careful not to add too much. Just add a little at a time – I added around 1/8 cup (maybe a little less) more total.

Glorified Brownies

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. nuts, lightly floured (totally optional, I omitted them myself)
18 large marshmallows

Chocolate frosting:
3 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. milk
3 C. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 C. plus 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions
In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Add butter, chocolate, flour, salt and nuts (if desired).

Pour into a greased 9×11 pan and bake at 350° f. for 20 – 25 minutes or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted (it’s okay if the brownies are a little underdone as you will be sticking them back in the oven)

Remove from oven and top with marshmallows. Bake for 3-5 minutes, or until marshmallows are melted.

Remove from the oven and mash marshmallows with a spatula.

For the frosting:

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat butter and milk until it just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, salt, and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour over marshmallows and cool thoroughly before serving.

Cut into small squares.

Sempre Dolce in NYC

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I just got back  last week two weeks ago from a whirlwind trip to NYC and it was amazing! Let me tell you a little about it:

I went to New York to play in a winners recital (this competition here)  at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall – I wanted to hop over and see Louis Lortie who was playing in Stern Auditorium that same evening) and while I was there tried out some eats, however nothing really worth writing about – like I said, it was a whirlwind trip. However, it is amazing how much of NYC one can see in 24 hours! One place we ate at that is worth writing about however, is Alice’s Tea Cup. It was really good and quite a fun experience as well. Each one of us (my Mom, sister and my cousin, we left my brothers to find some place to eat on their own…) tried something different and of course we each had tea. As mentioned before, it was an enjoyable experience from the way the tea is served (you get your own teapot), to the cute tea cups, to the food itself; this place is definitely worth trying if you are visiting NYC . Another place would be this French bakery my siblings went to without me – I was on a plane. Oh my. The lemon and chocolate tarts were to die for! Another must for a visit. We also made it by the Magnolia bakery and aside from the chocolate cheesecake and lemonade (although it was slightly over sweet, but still good though) there was nothing really worth bragging about. The chocolate cake was good, but nothing that couldn’t be made at home. The flourless chocolate cake was a flourless chocolate cake (I love flourless chocolate cake, but this one just wasn’t anything, again, that couldn’t be made at home) and a little dry at that. I had heard the cupcakes were a close rival to Sprinkles Cupcakes, but truthfully I didn’t quite see that quality in them – don’t get me wrong, they were good and I have had FAR worse cupcakes, but I still like Sprinkles and maybe even Hey Cupcake in Austin better.

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Other than eating, one highlight of the trip was Central Park. I know, how touristy can you get, right? I am not a big fan of doing the touristy stuff on vacation (like please, please do not go to Times Square – trust me)  but Central Park is an exception. I must confess it is different than I imagined. I always envisioned a large city park (maybe somewhat like the Boston Commons?), but this was like park meets nature. In the middle of the city. Lots of fun to be found there (if I had more time I would have liked to have tried the row boats :)). Another highlight (if you can call this a highlight, maybe I am easily amused?) was riding around in taxis for the first time. Unlike Boston, where the subway is pretty easy to figure out and for visitors preferable, I found walking or taking a taxi easier and less confusing (although I must confess that I did not even try to take the subway. My brothers did however and they confirmed that fact). But regardless, riding in taxis was fun (other than the fact that they are costly… but it’s New York, right?) as it reminded me of the old classic movies I love to watch so much. By the way, you know you are a big classic movie enthusiast (I am too; I do not often watch movies that were made past the 1950’s) , when you go around NYC thinking of all the movies that take place there and even quoting some lines as well. 🙂

Anyway, I had a wonderful 24 hours in NYC and can’t wait to go back someday. So with that said, on to other subjects.

I am posting another brownie recipe that I think you will love, but before you kill me for providing yet another brownie recipe, let me give you a little announcement:

I partially chose to post a brownie recipe today because it helps (or maybe a better way to put it would be that posting another brownie recipe is helping) give me an introduction to my new Brownie Of The Week (isn’t that just a brilliant name?) post that I will be doing every other week or twice a month. As you can tell and as I have stated before, brownies really excite me, so the idea of the many combinations that I can and am going to be fooling around with just excites me all the more. I hope you enjoy this venture of mine – I can’t wait to start!

Below are some of my creations thus far.

On this particular brownie recipe:

There is nothing that I did here that is much different from the original recipe except to add another source of chocolate. I added these. I know it’s past Easter and due to my lateness in posting this, you may not even have any left, but it is a good way to use up any extra candy coated chocolate Easter eggs you might have. I used the Hershey ones and they turned out really awesome! I mean, really awesome. So if you do manage to have any extra Hershey (or similar) chocolate candy eggs left or you stocked up when the Easter candy went on sale, then make these. Enough said. Make them, you won’t be disappointed; even my niece who can be a picky eater liked them, they’re that good!

Cottura felice!

Notes:

~ You want to let the brownies cool before eating but if you want the ultimate chocolatey experience, then I highly recommend eating them while they are still somewhat warm. You won’t regret it!

 

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 Easter Brownies  

For the brownies

1 C. ( 2 sticks ) butter, melted
3 C. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. all – purpose flour
1 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 to 3/4 bag Hershey candy coated chocolate eggs

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 13 in. baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Using a whisk ( or mixer ), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and chocolate eggs.

Pour batter into prepared dish and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted.

Transfer brownies to a wire rack to cool.

 Barely adapted from Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies

S’more brownies version two

Let me just begin by saying that Monday was not a good day baking/cooking wise. From burning sugar, to a pot of glaze boiling over. Yes, it was indeed a dark (and smoky) day in the kitchen. It was all because of a sugar shortage and meringue. Meringue. Why meringue? You’ll see why in a minute.

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I have not always been a fan of meringue, and in fact, until last year had never even tried it before ( except in a chocolate chip halfway cookie ). Knowing it’s contents – raw egg whites and sugar – I just never could bring myself to try it. But my intrigue with meringue began upon discovering my now  favorite bakery in Fort Worth ( Texas, did I even need to specify? ).  There was a really good looking chocolate meringue pie sitting and staring at me behind the case in the bakery, so I decided for the first time, to try some. Wow. This was not meringue; this was marshmallow fluff! Actually, no, it really was meringue, but a marshmallow ( or very close to it) meringue and  so much better then I could have imagined! Since that day, I had been interested in making a marshmallow meringue myself. Ha ha. I got a successful marshmallow meringue but not before some mishaps; let’s just say that at one point on Monday it smelled like a chemical plant as a cloud of smoke rose from a pan and wafted through the house. But as it is still too painful to talk about it right now, let’s continue to happier subjects.

Remember the s’more brownies from last week?

A couple of weeks ago when grocery shopping, I happened to notice some miniature graham cracker crusts and decided to make the s’more brownies again but in mini form and with some changes. One of the changes being a marshmallow meringue on top of the brownies. Now, if you have never had marshmallow meringue before and are possibly only familiar with what I like to call the “southern kind” ( even though I don’t know if it’s more of a southern thing or not ) then you are probably wondering at the idea of putting it on top of brownies. But this is not regular meringue, or whatever you call it, this is a marshmallow meringue. And as I stated earlier, it tastes like very fluffy marshmallow fluff, so it compliments the brownies beautifully.

I know you are really going to like these brownies. I was so happy with the finished product, that I just couldn’t wait to share it with you!

So here is the breakdown: A brownie snuggled inside a mini graham cracker crust, topped with two squares of a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, and finished with a marshmallow meringue.

I think what I like best about them is the gooey melted chocolate bar in between the brownie layer and the meringue. They are great for a personal dessert ( no need to share – hee, hee…) and would be great to take to parties.

Now that you have been acquainted with the brownies, and I hope had a good laugh at my mishaps, here is the recipe.

Cottura felice!

Notes
~ For the marshmallow meringue, you really want to be careful when boiling the sugar and corn syrup. The recipe calls for 3 to 5 minutes of boiling, so I would really recommend starting out with just 3 minutes – especially if you don’t have a candy thermometer.

~ If you don’t have a candy thermometer, don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal. I seemed to have lost mine, and so had to make the meringue without it and it turned out fine. Just read these tips on boiling sugar.

For the brownies

2 packages miniature graham cracker pie crusts
1 C. ( 2 sticks ) butter, melted
3 C. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 C. all – purpose flour
1 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips

2 ( 4 ounce ) milk chocolate bars

 For the Marshmallow Meringue

2 Teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
4 egg whites
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325° F. On two baking sheets, arrange pie crusts ( 6 six crusts on each sheet ).

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Using a whisk ( or mixer ), add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

Gradually, using a spatula, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture using a little bit of a folding motion until thoroughly combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill each crust 2/3 full. Next, place 2 milk chocolate squares on top of each brownie.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until moist crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted.

Transfer brownies to a wire rack to cool.

While the brownies are cooling make the meringue.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water. Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, for about 2 minutes or until thick and translucent. It will turn into a jelly- like blob. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a separate small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and the remaining 1/2 cup of the water and stir gently to combine. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and cook, without stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until the syrup registers 248 degrees F on a candy thermometer (the firm-ball stage).

While the sugar is cooking, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment ( or use a hand-held mixer ).

When the sugar reaches 248 degrees F, turn on the mixer to high speed and slowly add the sugar syrup into the egg whites, drizzling it down the side of the bowl to keep it from hitting the whip and spattering.

When all of the syrup has been added, continue whipping on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture turns white and billowy.

Turn down the speed to medium, add the cornstarch mixture, vanilla, and salt and whip until fully incorporated.

Continue whipping for 3 to 4 minutes, or until barely warm to the touch.

Heap the marshmallow meringue on top of the brownies in billowing piles. Use the back of a spoon to tap the top of the meringue lightly and quickly to create tall peaks.

Serve & enjoy!

Brownies adapted from Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies, Marshmallow meringue adapted from the Flour Cookbook by Joanne Chang