Out Of The Box Brownies: Magical brownie recipes that start with a box
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Last-Minute-Miracle Christmas Brownie (aka Raspberry Brownie)

December 20, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Decadent, Fruit, Fun For Kids, Holiday, Nut-Free, Super-Simple

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If you’re stuck in a last-minute Christmas baking rush, and need a quick but awesome holiday dessert with just a couple of ingredients, try this simple recipe for a beautiful raspberry brownie! (I’m doing this recipe sort of in a tale-of-two-brownies style. One is dark chocolate; one is milk chocolate. You’re welcome.)  You’ll find these raspberry brownies to be both easy and eye-rollingly delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box brownie mix (either dark chocolate or milk chocolate)
  • Eggs, oil, and water as called for on the box (use the “extra egg” recipe)
  • Raspberry filling (either 20-oz of raspberry pie filling or 16 oz of raspberry jam)
  • Optional: white chocolate chips, chopped into smaller pieces
  • Optional: drizzle (2 T butter, 1/2 c confectioners sugar, splash of milk, jam) or sprinkles

Photo below shows ingredients I used to make BOTH a dark chocolate version and a milk chocolate version!

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DIRECTIONS

Prepare the brownie mix with eggs, oil, and water — as instructed on the box, but using the “extra egg” recipe (often listed as a footnote). Pour HALF of the batter into a greased pan — set aside the other half. I used a 9×13-inch pan and it worked out fine, but an 8×11-inch pan would give you a taller, more stately brownie.

Pour your raspberry filling in a thin, even layer over top of the batter. If using raspberry jam, it helps to heat the jar in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds and then stir; if you skip that step, the jam tends to be too thick to pour.

Photos below show the dark chocolate with jam first — followed by the milk chocolate with the pie filling.

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If you’re adding chopped white chocolate to your recipe, now is the time. Evenly sprinkle it right over your raspberry layer.

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Now, pour the remaining chocolate batter on top. If you use the right technique, this can go quite quickly. Get a nice, wide stream falling out of the lip of the bowl — then drag that stream into a wide ribbon that covers the raspberry in a back-and-forth motion. See below for my awesome technique on both the dark and milk chocolate versions.

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If you prefer sprinkles to icing, you can add those now. Be generous! I used red, but red and white would be extra-super Christmassy!

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Bake at 350 F for about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size and depth of your pan. Check with a toothpick, looking for a fairly clean pull from a center placement. Cool brownies completely.

Baking is done. Now, if you have the time… and if you prefer icing to sprinkles, make yourself a nice, thin icing. Start with 2 T of butter in a small bowl. Using the back of a spoon, smoosh the butter against the sides of the bowl so it is smooth and pliable. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 confectioners sugar and mix until thick. Add a small amount of milk — maybe a teaspoon or two. Mix. Add either more milk or more sugar until it’s the right consistency for drizzling. Using a spoon, drizzle HALF of the icing onto cooled brownies in a big, looping, swooping pattern. Next, take the leftover half of the icing and mix in one teaspoon of raspberry jam. It will be pretty and a purplish-pink color. Drizzle THAT on top of the white icing. So, so pretty.

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Ain’t she purty? And done so quickly! The raspberry brownie is surely a Last-Minute-Miracle Christmas Brownie, one that you’ll be proud to serve at any holiday event!

Raspberry Brownie Truffles

June 21, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Decadent, Fruit, Fun For Kids, Nut-Free, Off the Beaten Path

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Oh, truffles, darling truffles, made with fresh raspberries, raspberry jam, brownie mix, and your lovely little hands. What a dazzling, dreamy, decadent treat! Don’t stand there drooling, get started right away!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box brownie mix
  • Egg(s) as directed on box
  • Water as directed on box
  • Oil as directed on box, except substitute melted butter for the oil
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • Fresh raspberries, about 30, optional but highly recommended
  • 1 pound “tempered” white or vanilla chocolate (this means “candy melts,” the kind of chocolate you use in a candy mold; I used the generic store brand from Meijer)
  • Red sprinkles to use as a garnish

Mix batter according to box instructions, except substitute melted butter or margarine for the oil. Bake according to box instructions, and let cool completely. When brownies are cool, trim off the “crunchier” edges from the pan of brownies, just 1/4 inch or so.

You don’t need those crispy, crusty edges, so set them aside (in your mouth). Take the remaining tender, “middle” brownies and break them up into a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup raspberry jam (I like seedless, but I suppose you could use preserves instead). Then mix thoroughly into the broken-up brownies, creating a uniformly dense truffle filling.

Option A: Roll into truffle-sized balls with your palms.

Or, option B: Go all the way, and tuck a small fresh raspberry into the center of each ball. The raspberries I bought were pretty big, and I decided to cut them in half so the balls didn’t have to be overly large.

 Put rolled balls onto wax paper and refrigerate for 10-20 minutes while you do the next few steps.

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt 1 pound of tempered chocolate (aka CandiQuik, candy melts, or dipping chocolate) by following the microwave instructions. Don’t overheat; I suggest heating 20-30 seconds at a time and then stirring in between heatings until smooth.

Depending on your preference, you can use chocolate (above) or white/vanilla (below).

Don’t use chocolate chips because they’re not tempered. Only tempered chocolate will give you a hard candy shell that allows you to pick up the finished truffle without getting gooey fingers.

When your tempered chocolate is melted and smooth, remove the truffle balls from the refrigerator and dip them one at a time into the melted chocolate.

Work one by one: Dip, allow excess chocolate to drip off, place dipped truffle onto wax paper, and then garnish. Repeat. For a dipping tool, I used a fork because the tines allowed the extra chocolate to drip back down into the bowl. As you continue dipping and garnishing, the chocolate may begin to get stiff and harder to work with; in this event, just microwave the chocolate for 20 seconds and stir until smooth again.

Once you place the dipped balls on wax paper, they will dry almost instantly, so be sure to immediately add any garnish you may want. I garnished with pretty red sugar sprinkles, but you might instead choose to use a sprinkle of cocoa, nuts, or powdered sugar. I found the cutest mini-muffin paper cups that were the perfect size for presentation. Adorable!

Refrigerate until serving. A friend of mine is making these for a “True Blood” party; I wonder why?

So, so pretty. You’ll be tempted to pop the whole dang thing in your mouth and grab another, but I suggest savoring it in 2 or 3 long, passionate bites.  Brownie truffles with these gorgeous raspberry centers are sure to be a hit at any special event, or to make any event special!