Baking with B: Rocky Road Sour Cream Brownies

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I confess I used to be one of those people that scoffed at the idea Valentine’s Day. Like those other haters, I believed it was too commercialized, and I resented feeling excluded all of those years I was single on February 14.

As I’ve gotten older and found it more difficult to keep up with all of my personal relationships, I’m starting to realize those greeting card companies might be onto something. There just aren’t a lot of opportunities for romance amidst today’s hustle and bustle unless you make the time for it. Sure, ideally you’d like to show your partner your appreciation every day, but now I think there’s something to be said for putting aside a day once a year for doing something special.

That’s why I’m starting to think Valentine’s Day is really for those in long-term relationships- those relationships that are filled with chores and kids and bills and all those other wonderful things life throws your way as an adult. Those couples need a day like this. They need a way to make things extra-special.

Kind of like these brownies. My chocolate brownies are kind of a staple in my household, and yet when do I ever get the opportunity to jazz them up a little? Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect excuse to bake this ooey-gooey, junked-up version. The result? A brownie that’s perfect for your favorite chocoholic, or for anyone that you want to feel special.

Rocky Road Sour Cream Brownies (makes 25)

Brownie Base:

1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. flour

1/3 c. cocoa

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c. sour cream

Rocky Road Topping:

1/2 c. milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. mini marshmallows

1/2 c. slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time until frothy, then use a spoon to add sour cream and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until fully combined. Bake in a greased 8-inch pan for approximately 35 minutes.

Remove brownies from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips, marshmallows and almonds (in that order) over top, taking care to distribute evenly. Return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until marshmallows get puffy and golden. Let the brownies cool at least 10-15 minutes before cutting.

B’s Tip: The sour cream brownie base makes these treats really soft at first, so it’s based to wait until brownies are just about cool for the cleanest, neatest cuts. But who am I kidding? Chocolate is chocolate, and these taste good pretty much any which way.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: 7 Days of Christmas Treats: Butterscotch Confetti

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This recipe is probably one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made on my blog, and definitely one of the prettiest. I’m not always a fan of butterscotch chips- sometimes I find them just way too sweet- but when you throw in salty peanut butter and fluffy marshmallows the result ends up sleek and smooth, and melts in your mouth. The only challenging part of this recipe is going to be preventing yourself from eating all of these babies before the holidays arrive.

Butterscotch Confetti (makes 36)

1/4 c. butter or margarine

1/2 c. peanut butter

1 c. butterscotch chips

8 oz. small colored marshmallows

Melt butter and peanut butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in chips until melted. Cool until you can hold your hand on bottom of pot. To speed process, stir while holding pan in cold water until cool enough. Add marshmallows and stir until all are coated. If you like, add 1/2 c. chopped walnuts and/or 1/2 c. medium coconut to mix things up and add a little bit of bite. Pack down in a 9×9-inch pan that has been lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

B’s Tip: The original recipe calls for a 9×9-pan but you may want to experiment with different sizes and shapes of pans to create a shape that works best for you. Honestly? I would have preferred a thicker square and may try using an 8×8-inch pan next time.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50

Last year I counted down to Christmas by baking seven different types of Christmas cookies as per my favorite Swedish holiday tradition. This year I’m making it a thing, and sharing seven more delicious recipes with you. This is the last post in this year’s series, but for more inspiration, you can check out more of my baking here. For even more recipe inspiration check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: S’mores Squares

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I have to admit- the other day I was feeling a little nostalgic about the end of summer. There’s something ominous in those cool August nights- a promise of the weather yet to come that somehow serves as a reminder of all the stuff you didn’t get to experience or enjoy over the past season.

And I definitely have not enjoyed the quintessential outdoor dessert, s’mores, in awhile.

S’mores just aren’t the same when you’re not camping, so the next best thing is making your own deconstructed version that come out more homemade chocolate bars instead of gooey treats. Think of all of the possibilities of the places you can take these babies once you get rid of the oozy, marshmallow-y factor- to the park, to the beach, in the car. (Maybe don’t leave them in the direct sunlight.) S’mores lovers fear no more- they are no longer confined to the campfire. You’re welcome.

S’mores Squares (makes 1 9 x 12-1/2-inch sheet or six 2-1/2 x 5-inch bars)

600g (approximately 1-1/2 lbs.) milk chocolate chips, melted

1 pkg graham crackers

2 c. mini marshmallows

Line a 9×12-1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet or 6 small loaf pans (2-1/2×5-inch) with plastic wrap, and cover the bottom with graham crackers to form a layer. (I used a loaf pan to get a thick, dense square). Reserve remaining crackers. Pour the melted chocolate onto the graham cracker layer, and spread until even and smooth. Sprinkle with mini marshmallows and crumble remaining graham crackers off of top. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Peel off the plastic wrap and break into pieces to serve. Keeps in the fridge for one week (if you can resist the temptation to eat them!)

If you’re feeling schmancy (like I was), you can experiment with the flavors and the presentation. I toasted my marshmallows ever so slightly before adding them, and I set some of the melted chocolate to drizzle over top. But don’t let me stop you there- add more toppings like your favorite nuts, dried fruit, or shredded coconut if you want to junk it up. Or if you’re a chocolate lover, you may want to try experimenting with different kinds of chocolate, or flavors of candy bars.

Me, I’m a s’mores purist, and I’ll take these squares as is.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-BFlower-50

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.