Bonus baking: birthday brownies

20 Jan

Last night I went to two birthday parties.  The first was a dinner and house party, while the second was a bar crawl.  So I figured I’d bring these bomb brownies to share at the first one.  Little did I know that I’d memorize the recipe, and then drunkenly recreate these for the second party, which ended up back at my house for awhile.

Generally, I don’t like brownies so much.  I find them too rich, and I’m not a big chocolate fan.  But I’m in the far minority on this, so whenever I’m baking and assured that I won’t have to eat most of the baked goods, I like to make brownies.  Plus they’re super easy and you only have to clean a single pot, a spatula/wooden spoon, and a knife (for cutting) at the end.

All I had to buy from the store were mini-marshmallows (sorry I forgot to take an ingredients photo).  Here’s the shopping list if you don’t have everything else in your pantry:

Things you have: Butter, eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, vanilla

Things you might need: Peanut butter, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, rice krispies

Also I forgot about my blog until halfway through the process.  Step one: melt butter.  I feel like all good things I make start with melting butter (breakfast, baked goods, barbecue… okay I’ll stop with the gratuitous alliteration now, promise).  Mix in your cup of sugar, bit of vanilla, two eggs.

Technically you should whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt before adding them in to the pot, but that would take away from the glory of only having to clean one dish.  Just make sure you mix well.

These ingredients really dry-ve the recipe forward

These ingredients really dry-ve the recipe forward

Using a whisk is the smart way to mix in those ingredients so you don’t get little pockets of baking powder or salt in the batter.  Therefore, I used a spatula.

IMG_20130119_163319_556

The spat-u-la? More like the spat-I-LOVE!

Then you USE THE BROWNIES SECRET.  I cannot stress this enough.  Just as the silpat is the secret so you don’t have to wash your cookie sheets (though I did for those scones, which were way fatty and oozed butter onto the sheet), aluminum foil or parchment paper is the way to not wash your brownie pan/roasting pan/pyrex.  Also, it is way hard to get those edge pieces of brownie out from the sides of a pan.  With the foil trick you LIFT the brownies out and everything’s easy peasy!

First, here’s my schematic:foil rickYou use two pieces of foil, both a little bit bigger than the pan.  Lay the first one down across the pan and wrap the overhang.  Then lay the second one transversely.  This is magical.

This link has a much better diagram if the MSPaint didn’t convince you: http://www.thekitchn.com/easy-lifting-using-aluminum-fo-62733.  I also have a photo of myself attempting this.

I was FOILED from taking a good picture.

I was FOILED from taking a good picture.

So throw your batter in there, and bake at 375 for 17-19 minutes.  You *don’t* want to fully bake the brownies, because you’re going to take them out and throw MINI MARSHMALLOWS on them.  I love using marshmallows.  They’re just so cute and fluffy.

It's always marshmallow, marshmallow, marshmallow!  What about Jan-mallow?

It’s always marshmallow, marshmallow, marshmallow! What about Jan-mallow?

The recipe I used says two cups, I say just throw on some handfuls until you’re almost covered.  Then bake for another 5 minutes until they’re all puffed up and beautiful and maaaaybe just starting to get toasty brown on top.

There's nothing you and I won't do.  I'll stop the oven and melt with you!

There’s nothing you and I won’t do. I’ll stop the oven and melt with you!

Use your trusty spatula to smear those marshmallows around to cover any holes, then put the whole pan outside where it’s 18 degrees outside.  Or put it in your fridge.  It’ll take longer to cool in the fridge.

Meanwhile, clean your single pot so you can use it again to make the crispy topping.  I’m poor-ish, so I usually buy generic everything and rarely know the difference.  Know this, internet: there is a HUGE difference between Rice Krispies and the grocery store’s generic puffed rice.  I try to make up for the difference by throwing the puffed rice in the toaster oven for a few minutes, and that helps a lot.  You just want the crispiness, or else your puffed rice sort of sogs into the melted chocolate and everything is bad.

Anyways.  Melt your butter again, just a bit, and once that’s melted, turn off the heat.  You’ll throw in 2/3 c chocolate chips and 1/2 c peanut butter.

Do you prefer chunky or creamy?  I guess it doesn't matter if you spit rather than... wait.  I meant.  Yay peanut butter!  This caption is a new, very disgusting low.

Do you prefer chunky or creamy? I guess it doesn’t matter if you spit rather than… wait. I meant. Yay peanut butter! This caption is a new, very disgusting low.

I’m really good at reading, so I used my 1/3 c measure for the peanut butter first.  Heaping more on top makes it about 1/2 c, right?

I added extra chips- just choc it up to intuition

I added extra chips- just choc it up to intuition

Mix in the chocolate chips until they’ve melted from the residual heat of the pan and the butter.  There’s no need to have the heat on for this part.

IMG_20130119_165936_769

If I have other, better pots, but keep using this one, does that count as nePOTism?

Then mix in the peanut butter.

If I was baking with a friend named Reese, I'd have him stir so I could say Reese is piecing it all together right here.

If I was baking with a friend named Reese, I’d have him stir so I could say Reese is piecing it all together right here.

Once that’s all smooth, add in your toasted puffed rice krispie-wannabe stuff, and mix that up fast.

Check out this spatula while my baker revolves it.  Rice, rice baby.

Check out this spatula while my baker revolves it. Rice, rice baby.

Now you can spread this deliciousness on your cooled brownies.  You just want it so the marshmallow goo sets enough to not melt into the topping while you’re spreading.

I like this photo uploader.  Ooey GUI.

I like this photo uploader. Ooey GUI.

Throw this outside again while you’re washing the single pot and spatula.  Then LIFT your aluminum foil flaps and voila, you haven’t lost any brownie to the corners of the pan.  And the pan is clean!  In my case, I then wrapped the whole thing in parchment paper and foil, and biked it off to the party.  I recommend using a buttered knife to cut through the marshmallow/rice layer on top.

It's very important to stretch before strenuous activities, like marathon eating sessions

It’s very important to stretch before strenuous activities, like marathon eating sessions

The second time I made these, I threw the peanut butter in with the first pot of melted butter and had peanut butter brownies topped with marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Too lazy to make the topping.  Still good!

I’d like to experiment with sea salt and/or cayenne/chipotle brownies.  Let me know if you have any good recipes or ideas for those.

Here’s the recipe, adapted from a website that I can’t find right now (will update later):

Melt:

1/2 c butter

Turn off heat, and mix in

1 c sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

Then add

1/2 c flour

1/2-1 tsp salt

1-2 tsp baking powder (honestly I used a “spatula-full” and it worked out fine)

Bake in a 375 oven for 17-19 minutes.

Take out of oven, sprinkle with

2 c mini marshmallows

and continue baking for 5 minutes.  Chill.

Meanwhile, make topping.

Melt:

2 TB butter

Turn off heat, and stir in

2/3 c chocolate chips

1/2 c peanut butter

1 c Rice Krispies

Spread this on your chilled marshmallow brownies.  Chill for at least an hour to give the chocolate time to firm up.  Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

One Response to “Bonus baking: birthday brownies”

  1. Edward January 21, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    Our approaches to baking are so, so different. I also liked the schematic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: