Monday, July 16, 2012

Best Brownies With Raspberry Jam

A few years back I found a recipe for brownies that has been my go-to ever since. It wasn't from a fancy cookbook or popular blog, but actually on the back of my container of Hershey's cocoa powder. After many batches (for scientific purposes, of course) I tweaked it just a bit to work for me and haven't looked back.

Last weekend I was craving brownies something fierce, so I pulled out my time tested recipe and whipped up a batch. I decided to try something different with these brownies.

I added in some chopped walnuts and brainstormed what else I could do to jazz them up. I remembered that I had a container of raspberries in the fridge that were getting pretty soft, so I knew they would be perfect for jam. I love jam, and I love brownies, so what could be better than a freshly baked brownie with homemade raspberry jam on top?

I really liked the deep raspberry flavor in combination with the rich, intense dark cocoa of the brownie. I'd say this one is a winner.

Best Brownies (slightly adapted from Hershey's Best Brownies recipe found here)

1 stick butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup sugar (the recipe calls for 1 cup, but I cut it down and can't tell a difference)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I ran out so didn't add any to this batch and couldn't tell a difference)
2 eggs (I like to use 4 guinea eggs when I have them)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Hershey's cocoa powder (I use the "Special Dark" version)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional - when I add them I prefer walnuts)

1) Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (a great way to grease your pan is to use an empty butter wrapper and wipe all over the pan - there is still butter left on the wrapper so it greases the pan perfectly).

2) Stir together butter, sugar, and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs, beat well with spoon. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in nuts if desired. Spread batter evenly in greased baking pan. The batter will be very thick.

3) Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of the pan. Cool completely and cut into squares (I find that a plastic knife works best for clean cuts).

Raspberry Jam
6 oz raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)

Crush raspberries in a bowl and add sugar (I used an immersion blender to quickly chop up the raspberries). Place in a pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer the jam for 5 minutes. Add in the chia seeds if using and continue simmering for about 5 more minutes, or until it has reached desired thickness (the chia seeds help to thicken the jam). Let cool then store in the fridge. Will stay fresh for up to a week.

I have some jam left, so I see a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich in my future. I've always wanted to try thumbprint cookies, so I think that would finish off the jam nicely. Having extra jam to use is definitely not a problem for me!



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