Let’s head into the weekend with homemade fudgy, chewy brownies, ganache and Mini M&M’s on our brains, shall we? Really, what better way is there?
Well, ok…there may be a few more ways that might be better to kick start the weekend than those three things, but we’re off to tasty beginning!
My mom used to occasionally buy the kids those Cosmic Brownies that you see in the grocery stores. You know the ones, from Little Debbie. My oldest son absolutely loves them, but I don’t really want to buy them. I may be wrong about the ingredients, and I’m not going to make any claims about them, but I can’t find nutritional info on their site.
So. I’ve been thinking that it would be fun to make some and see if they lived up to my son’s expectations. The Cosmic Brownies are thin and chewy, with a chocolate icing and candy coated mini chocolate chips. Easy enough, yes?
I looked at a lot of brownie recipes before I settled on the one I ended up using. It’s very simple and I only changed it up a bit. It ended up having the exact texture I wanted, plus it made a 13 x 9 pan. With a family of six, an 8 x 8 pan won’t cut it, and I didn’t feel like messing around with doubling and all that. My gosh, how lazy is that?
There has to be a law against cakey brownies somewhere. Cake is cake. Brownies are…like dark, rich chocolate icing you can pick up. Ha! The icing is a simple ganache, and they’re topped off with some mini M & M’s.
These would be great for a bake sale or to put out for a party. Or just to keep in the fridge for snacking on. Definitely not a “sit out in the heat of the sun” brownie because of the ganache. But if it’s a cool day, or your party food is inside the house, you’re good.
So the important question--what do my kids think of these? They LOVE them! You’re welcome, kids. Now do your chores.
Slightly adapted from VeryBestBaking.com
Makes one 13 x9 pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder (Optional, but this adds so much depth to the chocolate flavor! You can also use instant coffee.)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used the Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
7 oz bittersweet chocolate
pinch of salt
-Mimi M & M's, for sprinkling over the top (I bought a large bag of them--you'll eyeball the amount you add)
Heat oven to 350º. Line a 13 x 9 pan with foil, then lightly grease. (The foil makes it easy to lift the cooled brownies from the pan, which makes cutting them much easier.) Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter and water with a whisk. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and espresso powder. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry mix into the wet stuff and stir to combine. With a rubber spatula, spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes. Don't over bake!
Set aside on a rack to cool.
While the brownies are baking, prepare the ganache:
Place the chocolate in a bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the cream just to a simmer. Don't boil it, just wait till you see little bubbles starting to form around the edges. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Sprinkle with the salt and let it all sit for a minute or so. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until all of the chocolate is melted. Whisking the heck out of it will just add air bubbles and we don't want those. Set that aside to cool a bit.
When the brownies are mostly cool, pour the ganache over and spread it evenly over the top. Sprinkle as many or as few of the M & M's over the top as you like. I cooled mine in the fridge until the ganache was set. When you're ready to cut them into squares, lift them out with the foil and cut into the size or shape you like.
I'm storing mine in the fridge because it's warm in the kitchen.
- These are everything I could ever want in a brownie. Fudgy, deep chocolate flavor, a slight mocha thing going on with the espresso…and M & M’s!
- These are a bit rich, so you can feel comfortable cutting them in small squares. Then again, sometimes a ginormous brownie is just what you need to stuff your face with. You decide. I won’t judge, you know…if you’re going to stuff your pie hole with a few of these. I may or may not have done that myself.
- Oh! You could totally customize these with pretty holiday M & M’s or sprinkles.