When I told my husband, Dan, that I was blogging about Rocky Road Brownies (find the recipe below), he turned to me and said, "The Rocky Road Brownies? That was the best dessert you ever brought home from EatingWell." He might be right. Although every recipe that chocolate expert Alice Medrich developed for the latest issue of EatingWell is truly amazing, it's quite possible that these Rocky Road Brownies were the Test Kitchen's favorite. We happily tested every nuance and fought over the leftovers. Even Deputy Food Editor Jessie Price, who isn't normally a fan of Rocky Road anything, brought an entire pan home with her one night. They are that good.
More Chocolate Recipes to Try: Decadent Peanut Butter & Pretzel Truffles, Creamy Chocolate Gelato and More
So then Dan said, "Mmmm... Why don't you make them today?" Ha! (Clearly he had ignored the rest of the to-do list I had just rattled off!) While I did have everything on hand to make them, I decided to keep that idea in my back pocket for Valentine's Day. We're not the type to buy gifts for each other on that Hallmark holiday. We just try to do something nice for each other. And for Dan, there's no better present than his lovely wife making a pan of chocolaty, marshmallowy, nutty brownies. Lucky for me, I know he'll share.
Rocky Road Brownies
16 (2-inch) brownies
Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 3 hours (including cooling time) | To make ahead: Prepare through Step 3; refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Store brownies in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
1 cup less 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural (see Note)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 regular-size marshmallows
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate or large chocolate chips
- Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil coated with cooking spray. (Leave enough of an overhang to be able to lift the brownies out of the pan later with the liner.) If you don't plan to let the batter rest at the end of Step 3 before baking, position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Thoroughly whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan until sizzling. Remove from the heat and stir in cocoa, then sugar. (The mixture will look like a mass of very dark brown sugar.) Add egg, egg whites and vanilla. Stir briskly until smooth and glossy. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Then stir briskly for about 50 strokes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. The batter will be very shallow in the pan. If you have time, cover the pan and refrigerate for a few hours or up to 12 hours. (This hydrates the cocoa powder and flour and brings all the flavors into sharper focus.) Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking; preheat oven to 350°F.
- Quarter marshmallows with an oiled knife. Distribute the pieces over the batter, pressing them in. Distribute nuts and chocolate (or chips) around the marshmallows.
- Bake the brownies until the marshmallows are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. (If you can find a place to test for doneness where there is no melted chocolate or marshmallow, a toothpick should come out with some moist, gooey batter clinging to it. Brownies in a metal pan will bake faster than those in a glass pan; if you're unsure, bake a few minutes longer to make sure the brownies are done in the middle.) Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack for about 2 hours. Lift the ends of the pan liner and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 brownies.
Per brownie: 190 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 2 g mono); 22 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 19 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 60 mg sodium; 89 mg potassium.
Note: Cocoa powder comes in two styles: natural and Dutch-processed. Dutch-processed cocoa has been treated with alkali, or "Dutched," to neutralize the natural acidity of cocoa, while natural has not. For this recipe, we prefer the taste of natural cocoa powder, although either type can be used.
What are you cooking up for Valentine's Day?
By Carolyn MalcounCarolyn Malcoun combines her love of food and writing in her position as contributing food editor at EatingWell. Carolyn has a culinary arts degree from New England Culinary Institute and a degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Carolyn lives in Portland, Maine, and enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and running in her free time.
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