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Friday, January 8, 2010

The Year of the Brownie

Cupcakes were huge in 2009, and rightly so because they are just so cute and fit so nicely in your hand! You could even have one for each hand and they do have less calories in them that a real cake don't they???ha ha ha!
Anyway- Yesterday I was watching Studio 5 and they mentioned that they thought that 2010 would be the year of the Brownie. They featured these Morroccan Spiced Brownies that I thought looked interesting,  and also showed a couple of different and exotic brownies, they all sound so delicious. There are so many different way's you can change up a basic brownie to make it original. I thought I'd keep it semi-simple but different than the usual-- so here you go.

Raspberry Rocky Road Brownies 
1 box Brownie mix (or other favorite brownie recipe)
2-3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, divided in half
1 cup roasted salted almonds or pecans.
2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/3 cup chocolate topping

Prepare brownie batter as directed. Fold in 1 cup raspberries, and ½ cup almonds.
Bake in a 9x9 pan at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out slightly moist. Evenly sprinkle marshmallows and nuts over the brownies. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the marshmallows turn slightly golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting, and then top with remaining raspberries and chocolate topping.
Makes about 12 individual brownies.
**Try cutting them out with a heart shaped cookie cutter and voi-la a sweet-heart treat for your special Sweetheart!

Brownie Tips
1. Always hand stir brownies
(This helps to prevent over-mixing, and reduces air in the batter which will result in a cake-like brownie. We want fudgey chewy, not cakey.)
2. Don't over-beat the batter
(Activates the gluten in the wheat, which results in a tough brownie. We want melt-in- your-mouth texture, not tough!)
3. Don't over-bake
(Dries the brownie out - better to under-bake and let them set up. Brownies are done once an inserted toothpick comes out slightly moist.)
4. Cool completely before cutting
(They will stick to the pan or to the knife, but if you want a warm gooey brownie, go for it but you may benefit from the use of a spoon :)