The weather here has been really great these past couple of weeks–sunny, cool, and breezy. Novembers in Texas are always the best. My friends and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and do a Texan style pre-Thanksgiving barbecue at the lake. The plan was to make a simple dinner of potato salad, smoked salmon with barbecue sauce, and s’mores. Pretty neat, except none of us checked the weather report. And as fate would have it, Texas decided to not be sunny, breezy and cool anymore. It rained for four days continually. The gloomy and dark sky put a damper on our plans…but not our spirits! We continued with our arrangements and had an outdoor themed potluck instead.
Since I have no outdoor grilling skills whatsoever, I was in charge of making s’mores. But now that I had the luxury of an electric oven, I decided to make fancier s’mores–Oreo s’mores brownies. I realized that I had no leavening agent, so I searched the internet for a baking powder free brownie recipe and in the process learned that the best brownies are not cakey and gooey but are hefty and soft at the same time with a thin crackly crust. Turns out that no baking powder is necessary to achieve that elusive effect. I found a recipe from a cake shop in Brooklyn that is Oprah Winfrey attested. This definitely is the best brownie I have ever had, and I have had many brownies in my life. The oreo s’mores make them even better. Must try these soon!
Oreo S’mores brownies
Level: Easy Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Yield: 24 brownies
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup marshmallows
12 Oreo cookies, cut into bite size pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted.
Add the sugars to the bowl and turn off heat. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan and let cool.
Add 1 egg at a time to the chocolate mixture (should be at room temperature) and whisk until combined.
Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
Sprinkle all of the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, softly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.
Take out the pan and immediately change the oven setting to low broil.
Sprinkle the Oreo and marshmallows on top and broil for 2 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar.
Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve warm. Vanilla ice-cream goes great with it.