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I saw this recipe on BEB a LONG time ago, and put it on my list. Just recently, I started seeing it on other blogs too! I took that as a sign and made this babies yesterday. I only wanted to use unsweetened cocoa powder in the brownie, because I didn’t want to go buy chocolate. I looked up a lot of brownie recipes, and couldn’t decide between AR’s Best Brownies and KA’s Guaranteed Fudge Brownies. I actually made a chart to compare the two, haha. I almost went with the KA recipe, which called for additional steps to create a shiny top crust. At the last minute, I decided to skip that since I would be topping the brownies with marshmallows and a chocolate peanut butter layer. I made a hybrid of the two recipes. I started with the Best Brownies recipe, and added more cocoa powder because the King Arthur recipe used a lot more cocoa powder.

I put in 1/2 cup Special Dark cocoa powder (a mix of regular and dutch), took out 2 tbsp and replaced it with 2 tbsp regular.

After putting the brownies in the oven, I got really nervous. I wasn’t sure what the extra cocoa powder would do to the recipe. I debated my use of mostly Special Dark cocoa powder. And earlier, I ALMOST forgot to add the sugar. I remembered at the last minute right before I added the flour/cocoa powder mixture. I thought that since the sugar didn’t really get a chance to dissolve in the heat (the egg/butter mix had almost cooled), the texture of the brownies would be effected badly.

Luckily, the brownies didn’t seem to suffer. I baked at 325 (because of my dark pans), and after 24 minutes I checked on them. The edges were already pulling away, and my toothpick came out clean. I was expecting moist crumbs because I was looking at the King Arthur page at the time, but my brownies were fudgier and less cake-y than the KA brownies. Their recipe had more flour and more cocoa powder.

I thought the brownies might be overcooked, especially because I had to put them back in to melt the marshmallows. I was expecting the marshmallows to completely melt, but they hold their shape. When I touched them after three minutes, they were soft and gooey, so I took them out.

The topping was really easy and good, but I wish I’d used a little more rice krispies. Maybe a cup instead of 3/4 of a cup. Some bites had more of a crisp than others. I loved the way the milk chocolate/peanut butter/rice krispie topping contrasted with the dark chocolate, chewy brownie.

I really liked the brownie layer, but it’s hard to decide if it’s my ideal brownie. The chocolate taste is perfect, and I like the texture. They were firm enough to hold up to the toppings, and they were nice and chewy. Not cakey at all. I kind of wish I had stuck to the AR recipe completely, just so it would be easier to compare to other recipes in the future. Also, now I can’t give a real opinion of the AR recipe because mine had more cocoa and therefore a different texture. But I’m glad I used the dark cocoa.

They probably need to be kept chilled because the chocolate topping gets a little soft and messy after a while. My little issue with this is that I want to compare these to other brownies, and it’s hard because I want to try the brownie at room temp. I might tear off part of the brownie and let it come to room temp later. It’ll also be hard to compare because my brownies might be a little overcooked – can’t really tell though, haha. I think they’re great, I just wonder if I could make them even better. I’m still looking for a perfect, plain brownie recipe. I really liked the chunky chocolate brownie recipe from MR, I’ll look for something close to that. I don’t know if I want to make the KA ones anymore, it calls for fancy ingredients and I’m afraid they won’t turn out if I make substitutions. I would like to try espresso powder in a brownie one day.

Best Brownies (All Recipes) – I made the entire recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used 1/2 cup cocoa powder. I bet it didn’t make too much of a difference, texture wise)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

The recipe includes a frosting, but I probably won’t ever want to make it.

*I just realized that this is the same recipe that was in BEB’s cookies and cream cheesecake brownies, which I made in the fall. I didn’t make any changes to it that time.

For the Toppings – I cut this in half for my 8×8 pan
1 bag (10½ ounces) miniature marshmallows
1½ cups milk chocolate chips – I used Guittard chips, which maybe melt better than regular ones?
1 cup smooth peanut butter (don’t use natural peanut butter)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (I used salted)
1½ cups Rice Krispies cereal

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan. (I used foil)
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook. (My plan was to take them out a little before they were done, but my brownies cooked too fast!)
  4. Remove the brownies from the oven and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over them. Return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, place the milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, and tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted. Remove from heat, add the Rice Krispies and mix well. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer. Refrigerate until chilled before cutting.

BEB used a different brownie recipe, which I’ll include here.

For the Brownie Base:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan.

2. For the brownies: In a medium saucepan, melt the unsweetened chocolate, butter and ¾ cup of the semisweet chocolate chips over medium heat. Stir occasionally while melting. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl , whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Stir the melted ingredients into the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in the dry sifted ingredients and mix well. Fold in the remaining ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips.

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