Am I going a bit brownie crazy? Who knows. All I know is that brownies serve multiple purposes. They can be conversation starters, and help you make friends. They can be clever concoctions to work your creativity with, or simplify your life with a good old-fashioned, warm brownie.
This Friday was my last day of high school, and it was quite a bittersweet moment. I’ve been with the same group of friends for years. Some I’ve known since my shy days of kindergarten, others I met in my awkward stages of middle school, and a handful were found in high school. Although we all complained early in our years that we couldn’t wait to get out of high school, now that it has finally arrived, I think we’re all kind of taken aback.
Those four years flew by. Zoomed in a blur of quizzes, homecoming, ACT tests, and cafeteria food. And even if you were a crazy partier at every teen club or spent your day refreshing your facebook news feed, I think we can all admit that a part of us will miss high school a tiny bit.
Excitement doesn’t even begin to describe how much I’m looking forward to the future. It’s a whole new ballgame out there, full of new people and opportunities. Of course I’m out of my mind frightened, I’ll be moving to a new state, not knowing a soul other than my father. But the change is what makes it so exciting, that unknown factor that makes you reach for more. There’s a feeling of power, being out of high school and controlling your life, and complete, deep gut fear of the unknown. It’s kind of like putting cookies on brownies, or marshmallows. You have no idea if it will work out, but you cross your fingers and hope for the best. Wondering where this weird metaphor is going? Well quite frankly, I don’t even know- maybe, hopefully, my college life and future will turn out like these brownies- amazing.
When I think of summer, I think of bonfires on a random weekday, roasting marshmallows in the crackling fire. With school over and a whole summer to spend with friends and relaxing before college, I thought this would be the perfect recipe for a barbecue some friends hosted on our last day. The gooey marshmallow worked well with the rich chocolate, although it ended up being rather difficult to cut without a sharp knife and some hot water to make clean cuts. I found the graham cracker crust to be so clever though, it really made the brownies to be so fun in its summer theme.
From Food Network Kitchens
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch fine salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 large cold eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups (25-30) large marshmallows
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.
For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes.