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Rocky Boulevard Brownies

Updated: Feb 8, 2020

Brownies always remind me of the time I finished my son’s brownie and nearly got caught. The story goes like this….I had just made him toast with butter, and the butter had melted. He asked for more butter because the “other butter was gone”. I tried to explain to him that butter melts on hot toast, like ice cream melts in the summer. I put some more butter on his toast and we watched it melt. He was pretty fascinated and I was impressed with my first science lesson!

That evening we had brownies for dessert. Now, I have to add that this child of mine used to be a very, very slow eater. A slice of toast would take him an hour. So we were trying to wrap up dinner and half his brownie was still lingering on his plate. When he wasn’t looking I popped it in my mouth thinking he’d forgotten about it. Of course he hadn’t, and he looked at me and asked, “where’s my brownie?” I sat there, startled and speechless (with a mouthful of brownie, his brownie) trying to think on the spot. How to break to him that his mother, who had already finished her own brownie, was now also guilty of eating his? His big, brown eyes opened wide, he cocked his head to the side, and asked, “it melted?” And I, looked sad and answered, “yes, darling, it melted”…..

He loves this story now, 9 years later, and whenever a plateful of brownies, or chips, or another of our favorite foods suddenly appears to be empty, he still looks at me as says with a knowing smile - Mommy, did it melt? I can no longer get away with stealing my kids’ food!

This winning brownie recipe is originally from @preppykitchen. It’s such a delicious, and fudge-y concoction that will literally have you hovering over the pan as you sweep up just one more crumb, and another, and another. I added some slightly salted cashews, almonds and chocolate chunks to give them a little more vava-voom for the Oscar’s party that will take place with me, myself and my couch. Their nutty, savory flavor balances beautifully with the rich chocolate taste. So whip up a batch of these for your chocolate cravings and join me!

Ingredients for 16 brownies:

  • 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon coffee extract, or 1 tablespoon coffee

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup (200g) sugar

  • 1 cup(200g) brown sugar, lightly packed

  • 1 cup (120g) flour

  • 3/4 cup (75g) cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup (180g) dark chocolate chunks or chips

  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts and chocolate chunks, we used Trader Joe’s Almond, Cashew & Chocolate Trek Mix, the nuts are slightly salted, which is delicious!

  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and line a 8x8-inch (20x20cm) baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and coffee extract (or coffee) and mix well. Add the white and brown sugars to the mixture and mix well. Sift the cocoa powder, flour, and salt into the bowl and mix until just combined. Toss in chocolate chunks and fold into the batter.

Add the brownie batter to the baking pan and smooth the top to the edges. Sprinkle the top with the nut and chocolate mixture.

Bake for about 30 minutes (mine took 35) or until the center is just set. The center should not wiggle when the pan is moved. Allow to cool completely (this is the hard part!) before cutting into squares, and sprinkle with a little flaky salt when it has cooled slightly.

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