Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Wanna Rocky Road All Night!

Bill and I joined a bunch of my co-workers at the Brewers game last night. And for our tailgate, I (naturally) volunteered to provide dessert. I thought about making baseball cake balls, but just wasn't up for all the work. So instead, I gave Bill a choice of cookies or bars. He chose bars, so I broke out my 9x13: The Pan That Can cookbook.

I haven't had great success with this cookbook (in fact, it's where I found my failure espresso brownies), but it has such a huge bar selection that I decided to give it another shot. When I saw these Rocky Road Brownies, they sounded too good not to try! So with great trepidation, I got to work.

I've concluded that I really need to research the perfect brownie recipe because it must require great balance in ingredients. When I've tried baking dense brownies, I've never gotten them to set. Nicole sent me her favorite recipe, and they were more like fudge. I've tried to find the right recipe for cake brownies, and haven't come across it. These are probably technically classified as cake brownies, but they were way more cake than brownie. Still seriously delicious, but just not the perfect brownie balance.

I actually think this rocky road topping would be a-ma-zing on top of Nicole's Fan-fudgin'-tastic Brownies! Somebody try it and let me know how it goes!

Rocky Road Brownies
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup nuts (The recipe called for peanuts. I used almonds because I had them on hand, but I would have preferred walnuts!)
3 cups marshmallows (They're supposed to be tiny marshmallows, but I only had jumbo so I chopped them.)
1 recipe Chocolate Drizzle (recipe follows)

Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with foil, extending the foil over the edges. Grease the foil. Set dish aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, water and cocoa powder. Heat until just boiling, stirring almost constantly. Remove from heat immediately. Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-combined. Add eggs, buttermilk (see below for a tip if you don't have buttermilk on hand) and vanilla. Beat for 1 minute more (batter will be thin ... which should have been my clue they'd be like cake). Spread batter evenly in prepared dish.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center (or in about a dozen various other spots, if you're brownie-paranoid like I am) comes out clean.

Remove from oven and immedaitely sprinkle marshmallows and nuts over top of brownies. (I also added a handful of white chocolate chips for good measure!) Drizzle chocolate drizzle over the top. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars (see below for a tip on cutting gooey brownies).

Chocolate Drizzle
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth.

Note: This Chocolate Drizzle recipe makes way more drizzle than you need for these brownies ... but it turns out the leftovers are an amazing fondue! And Chocolate Fondue just so happened to be on my recipe wishlist, so I ended up crossing it off without even meaning to! I wish I'd had strawberries on hand for dipping, but instead I used graham crackers. Oh so good!

Jen's Kitchen Clues
Making Buttermilk
In the past when a recipe called for buttermilk, I'd shrug my shoulders and just use milk, figuring it didn't make a huge difference. It wasn't until I actually bought buttermilk and used it in my favorite banana bread (as the recipe had called for all along) that I discovered how much of a difference it can make! Now, if I don't have it on hand and a recipe calls for it, I don't have to worry:

To make a 1/2 cup of buttermilk, place 1 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar in a measuring cup and add milk to reach the 1/2 cup line. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes before using. Easy!

Slicing Brownies
Slicing brownies can be tricky when they're sticky, as these were because of the marshmallows on top! To slice them cleanly (and keep from pulling the topping off), just spray a serrated knife with a little cooking spray on both sides. It's typically tasteless, and will slide right through gooey stuff like marshmallows. I even did this to chop the jumbo marshmallows I used into smaller pieces.

1 comment:

  1. I could eat that whole thing! Oh the insanity.. lol

    I love love LOVE the huge marshmallow idea. And white chocolate chips! Everyone offloads any "white" sweets on me because I seem to gravitate towards marshmallow and white chocolate more than most.

    And I don't often see almonds on brownies, but anything chocolate+almond related gets my top vote. Every time I go to See's (which is far more often than I should haha), I always have to get anything remotely chocolate+almond, amongst many other things haha.

    So these brownies are a mish mash of everything I like, honestly!