Friday, April 4, 2014

Naughty Brownies

Yesterday I shared an angel food cake recipe and it was white and fluffy and sweet and delicious but let's visit a different sort of world today, shall we? A world full of sticky, gooey, crunchy, decadent, gorgeous, chocolatey brownies. It's not a bad world to be in. A world full of burgers and grilled cheese would be great too, but I digress.

These brownies are so over the top, they're almost vulgar. I mean, they've got a bit of everything I could grab from the pantry. When you set out to make them, you can add whatever you like. I'll list a few suggestions, which you can take or leave. I mean, they're just suggestions; they're not requirements.
Ingredients:
1 box of brownie mix
2 eggs
½ cup melted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
+ teddy grahams
+ coconut flakes
+ sprinkles
+ sea salt
+ marshmallows
+ candy bars chopped into pieces
+ nuts
+ chocolate chips or M&Ms
+ crunchy kettle cooked potato chips
+ pretzels
+ whatever else you like
If you've got a homemade brownie recipe that you love, you can certainly use that. However, boxed brownie mix is already rather good so there's no need to be snooty and turn your nose up at it! What we'll do though, is substitute a few of the boring suggested liquid ingredients with ones with higher fat content and more flavor. Add in the eggs, as usual, but instead of oil, use melted butter (hey there, Paula Deen wannabe) and instead of water, use heavy cream. Oh, and just because you can, add in a little salt and vanilla extract for an added flavor boost. Give it a good whisking until the ingredients come together. A few lumps are nothing to fuss over.

Grease an 8" x 8" or 9" x 9" pan. We're going to thick, lush brownies here so skip the 9" x 13" pan, please. Smear a little butter around in a pan or use a bit of cooking spray and get it good and greased.
Lay some cookie dough at the bottom of the pan. I had frozen homemade cookie dough (already portioned into cookies) but you can use the Tollhouse slice and bake stuff or a powdered cookie dough mix (that you have to add butter and eggs to). My cookie dough was frozen, as this recipe was made on a complete whim, so I left them in their little scoops. If you are so inclined, you can press the cookie dough right into the pan and form a cookie layer.

Pour the brownie batter over the cookies and use a spatula or butter knife to spread it all over and smooth out the top.
And now it's time for the fun part: the toppings! Sprinkle on whatever you want and go a little (or a lot) crazy. I went for chocolate teddy grahams, sweetened coconut flakes, rainbow sprinkles, and a little extra sea salt. My sister said that these brownies looked like a teddybear graveyard. I said it was more like a teddybear swimming pool or sleepover or rave.
Pop the pan in a 350 oven for 35 to 40 minutes. You want to bake the brownies long enough to set the edges but so the center is still gooey. If you're not a fan of gooey brownies, you'll need to bake them for another 5 minutes, at least.
While the brownies were hanging out in the oven, I made a little caramel sauce. I didn't use my normal recipe though. Instead of white sugar, I used a little brown sugar and I added a good pinch of salt and a knob of butter. I let it get good and melty and then finished it off with a little heavy cream. I thought the molasses-y sweetness of the brown sugar would nicely complement the brownies. Store bought caramel sauce would be perfectly delicious as well. You can forego the caramel if you aren't a fan. It's not a requirement, just a strong suggestion.
Once the brownies are out of the oven and while they're still warm, drizzle with plenty of caramel sauce. Or don't! These are naughty brownies so there's absolutely no need to play by the rules.
And then it's time to dig in with a cold glass of milk (or almond milk in my case) and satisfy that sweet tooth. I think these are delicious when they're warm but they're also quite delicious when they've cooled. They're also delicious with a generous scoop of ice cream and/or whipped cream. I love all the different textures mixed into this one dessert - there are crunchy cookies and crunchy brownie edges, sticky caramel, gooey undercooked brownie batter, chewy cookies, sugary sprinkles, it's just a mishmosh of goodness. Next time your sweet tooth screams at you for a dessert, unleash your inner bad chef and whip up some naughty brownies. Your sweet tooth will thank you.
Here's the recipe page:

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