Sunday, September 7, 2008

Peanut Mallow Brownies

There has been a LOT of baking going on over the past week in this house. I haven't come even close to blogging about all of it, so some of it is just going to have to be skipped. However, even without a full blog dedicated to it, I have to mention the brioche that Chris made -- the Rich Man's Brioche from the Reinhart book to be precise. Rich and buttery, crispy buttery edges around a soft buttery middle -- did I mention the butter? 'cause there is a lot of it. He made that Saturday, then used one of the loaves to make us French toast for our Sunday breakfast. Yeah, doesn't get much better than that.

While Chris worked on bread on Saturday, I went back to the King Arthur Flour Cookie book and made one of the brownie recipes. Actually, one of the great things about this book is all the variations. The book gives you three basic brownie recipes -- fudgey, cakey, and in between, and then offers a bunch of variations that you can use on any of the base recipes. I chose the fudgey base recipe since as far as I'm concerned there should never be any other kind of brownie, and opted for the peanut butter marshmallow filling to use up the last of Chris' homemade marshmallows.

Dense fudgey brownies, super dark since I used the Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, that are moist and rich, and sandwhiched between layers of that, a gooey peanut butter marshmallow layer. The peanut butter flavor is pretty mild, but still noticable and the marshmallows make it nice and gooey/chewy and adds just a touch more sweetness. Overall a winner. Other additions I might consider for next time would be peanut butter chips or chopped peanuts, but either way, this is a good recipe that bears repeating.

3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnut or pecans (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 9 x 13 pan.

In a medium saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat briefly, just until it's hot (110F to 120F), but not bubbling; it will become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture the second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth, then add the flour and nuts and chips, again stirring until smooth. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan.

For the filling:
3 cups (6 oz) mini marshmallows, or 1 3/4 cup marshmallow fluff
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter

In a medium pan heat all the ingredients over low heat until they are melted and smooth. Spray a spoon with baking spray and spoon the sticky mixture over the brownies that you have in the pan. Spread it out as best you can, then top with the remaining brownie batter and bake for 29-32 minutes until the edges are set but the middle is still soft.


burkie said...

if i ever run for president, my campaign will be "just say no to cakey brownies!" these look almost over the top....almost :)

Ben said...

uh, no way I'd ever vote for you. I *love* cakey brownies. Especially with coffee. In the morning. With disgustingly greasy breakfast food. Hmm. Sounds like a plan might be forming...