The polar vortex is on its way this week. Wednesday is going to be the coldest day, with a high of -13F and a low of -29F here in the Twin Cities. And that is all with -50F wind chills, which means that things are going to be feeling a whole lot colder than what the weather says. Apparently we haven’t had wind chills like that in over a decade!
While multi-digit sub-zero temperatures aren’t the norm here in the Bold North, it certainly isn’t the first time we have experienced them. Last year Alex and I went up north for a getaway trip to Lutsen, MN and went snowshoeing in those kind of temperatures. Granted we had literal icicles on our eyelashes and could only stay outside for an hour max at a time, BUT we were still able to have fun. For those of you who have not experienced cold like this before, let me tell you, it is painfully freezing. The air is so dry and crisp it hurts to breath. Your nose hairs freeze within a minute, which makes breathing an odd feeling haha. And your ears become numb in a few minutes. (Which of course is why you have to wear proper, functional clothes to alleviate those feelings). Snow sounds like glass when stepped on. Windows freeze with beautiful ice patterns. And hot water instantly turns to ice crystals when thrown in the air.
If I didn’t have work on the coldest day of this polar vortex, you can bet that I would be snuggled under a blanket with these brownies in the oven. Strangely I wasn’t a fan of rocky road when I was little, but as I have grown a liking for nuts in desserts over the years, I have come to like this classic flavor. These brownies are fudgy and rich, and topped with additional chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and chopped nuts. But if you just want some plain, classic brownies you don’t have to add the toppings! This recipe is easy to make and truly perfect for a winter day!
Rocky Road Brownies
Bake time:Serves: 12
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8" square baking pan with parchment paper so that it overhangs on the side. Lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler.* Cool slightly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the sugar to the chocolate bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla. Stir until just combined.
- Add the flour mixture, and fold in until just combined so that no more flour is visible.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Using an offset spatula, smooth the batter evenly.
- Bake for 30-32 minutes.
- Sprinkle on the topping (the chocolate chips, nuts, and mini marshmallows). Bake for an additional 7 minutes.
- Broil for 1 minute to brown the marshmallows.
- Allow to cool. Lift the brownies out of the pan by using the overhung parchment paper. Cut into 12 pieces. Store the leftovers in an airtight container.
How to make a double boiler: Fill a pot with 1 1/2" of water. Bring to a simmer - do not boil. Place a bowl into the pot - the bottom of the bowl should be a couple inches above the water. NO PART of the water should touch any part of the bowl. Place the chocolate in the bowl, and stir occasionally as it melts. Be careful to not get any water into the bowl, as this will cause the chocolate to seize. For best results, occasionally lift the bowl out of the pot, wipe away the condensation under the bowl, then return to the pot. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the pot, and again, wipe away any condensation.