But we still like to splurge, and as you can see from my posts, we still bake quite a bit of indulgent sweets. But as in the case with most of our desserts, I bake with the aim of sharing. There are few things as satisfying as bringing a warm loaf of bread or a plate of cookies to a friend. The added benefit of sharing is that you can enjoy some decadent desserts without overdoing it. I figure a slice or two of cake once a week won't hurt Ryan and me (the real trouble would begin if we left all of these sweets around the house). So on Monday night, we made brownies, and to make my husband even happier, we added two of his favorite ingredients: marshmallows and graham crackers. And as always, we were prepared to find a pair of open arms to take them in.
Ryan comes from a large and loving extended family. When we first started dating, I was overwhelmed by the number of aunts, uncles and cousins that filled the holidays and other celebrations with warmth. I only have 4 pairs of aunts and uncles...Ryan has at least ten, and I'm sure I've forgotten someone (forgive me, please!). Needless to say, it took me some time to adjust to large and rather loud family affairs. But I've come to love Ryan's family because they welcomed me with open hearts, they made me feel at home, and they have supported Ryan and me through good and bad.
I will admit that these brownies don't look beautiful. The marshmallows have a way of deflating after leaving the oven, which makes the presentation less than spectacular. But let's not be silly, you don't eat a brownie because it's pretty, you eat a brownie because it's a warm and gooey chocolate filled treat. These brownies are delicious, the graham cracker inside the batter becomes soft and subtle, the marshmallow on top adds a perfectly thin layer of caramelization, and you can make your own mini s'more while your waiting for your brownies to finish baking.
I adapted a basic brownie recipe by adding a handful of crushed graham crackers and placing a few rows of sliced marshmallows across the top. The smell of melting marshmallows is even more intoxicating when mixed with the smell of baking brownies. Ryan and I were happy to sit and wait for these brownies to come out of our oven.
An additional note: Graham crackers make a restorative snack when recovering from the stomach flu...that and strawberry flavored Popsicles.
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
10-12 large marshmallows, sliced in half
1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. I like to leave a bit of foil hanging on both sides of the pan because it allows for easy removal. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
2. In a microwavable bowl, microwave the chocolate alone for 2 minutes at 50% power. Remove and stir. Add the butter and continue microwaving at 50% for another two minutes, stopping to stir after 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir until chocolate is entirely melted, microwaving an additional 30 seconds if necessary. Allow to cool slightly.
3. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, fully incorporating before adding the next. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just incorporated.
4. Stir in the crushed graham cracker and pour brownie mixture into your prepared pan.
5. Arrange marshmallow halves on the top of your batter, in whatever way you see fit.
6. Bake brownies in a 325 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.