Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to bake a recipe called Heart of Darkness Brownies? Especially when they’re chock-full of Snickers and chocolate chips, then topped with caramel-drizzled marshmallows? Jill O’Conner is my girl. She’s the author Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey, and it’s one of the best over-the-top dessert cookbooks out there. BUY IT!! Not only are the recipes new, inventive, and downright sinful, but the art direction is amazing. I look at food photography and art layouts so much differently now that I work for a food magazine, and the book is just so visually pleasing to read. If my house looked like a book, I think it’d look like this one. Anyway, enough of that, here’s Jill’s great recipe.
(Because most things are cuter in miniature, I baked some in a mini muffin pan.)
Makes 24 brownie cups
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup very coarsely chopped raw almonds or pecans, toasted
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 5 full-size (2.07 ounces each) Snickers Candy Bars, cut into small chunks
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
For the Caramel Drizzle:
- 6 ounces (about 25) unwrapped caramel candies
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray two standard 12-cup muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into a bowl and stir in the sugars, eggs and vanilla. Sift the flour and salt into the chocolate mixture and stir just until combined. Stir in the cooled chopped nuts, chocolate chips, and chunks of candy bar.
Fill each cupcake cup halfway with batter. Bake until the surface of the brownies has a glossy, crackled surface, about 20 minutes. Remove the brownies from the oven and top each one with 1/4 cup of the mini marshmallows. Return the brownies to the oven and cook until the marshmallows start the melt and puff up a bit, but not browned too much, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool just enough to handle, then remove from the cupcake cups, running a knife around the edge of each brownie to loosen it from the cup. Let cool completely on the wire rack.
While the brownies are cooling, make the caramel drizzle. Combine the caramels, cream, vanilla, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If the caramels are not completely melted, continue heating in 30-second increments, stirring until smooth.
Drizzle the brownies with melted caramel and let cool completely for the caramel to harden. Do not chill. Serve immediately or store for up to 3 days in a covered container.
I have some of the greatest friends. Last week we celebrated my dear friend Emily’s birthday, and even though, between my job and her two small children, we don’t get to see each other a lot, I just love her to pieces. Her celebration was a little on the fly, so I had to Betty Crocker these cupcakes, but they turned out really cute!
Here are my most recent permanent additions to my skin.
First, my newest scar. I was in a rowing accident with my friend Trevor. We were out rowing one Saturday evening and our double went “I don’t thin so” and flipped. The massive wound was no biggy, but rather the 50 degree water. I also love the accompanying scratch on my wrist that makes me look suicidal. Sweet. Blue is my favorite color, but not when it’s the color of my toes and lips. Thanks to Trevorsaurus, who saved me! My hero!
Here’s my newest tattoo! We had a tattoo party at our house recently. That’s not weird, is it? Mason, our artist, brought his tattoo stuff and his new bride, and me, Zack, and Ruth all got new tattoos. Mine is from Song of Solomon 6:3, “I am my beloved and he is mine.” Ruth’s says “and my soul wells up with hallelujah.” She also got a freakin’ awesome cover-up on her other wrist of a cherry blossom tree.
It hurts to be so bad-A. Notice how Mason is laughing at me.
Oh my gosh when did I my face get so fat?