Monday, March 5, 2012

Rocky Road Brownie Bars


Okay, okay. So THIS is why I cannot lose weight. I love sugar too much. I crave sugar. I crave creating new, delicious and attractive treats. (and some...not so much delicious). This, however, I would call a success. I was never a fan of rocky road ice cream, for some reason. But in a fudge brownie bar form! Sure, I'll gobble it up. Watch out though. This is one rich beauty. Here's the recipe. You'll enjoy a crunchy almond crust. Gooey brownie middle with a rich fudge topping.


Rocky Road Brownie Bars
Yield: 20--3" bars




Ingredients:


Crust:
-1/3 cup butter, melted
-1 cup raw almonds, chopped finely until ground
-1 pkg (9 sheets) graham crackers, crushed

Brownie:
-1 box of your favorite brownies--substitute applesauce for oil OR your favorite homemade batch of brownies
-1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows--mini are preferable. I cut up these large ones I had leftover from this party.

Fudge:
-1 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed milk
-2 cups (12 oz bag) chocolate chips, semi-sweet
-1 T butter
-1 tsp vanilla

Topping:
-1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped coarsely
-1 cup marshmallows, preferably mini but large ones cut up into mini size will do too.

**Don't be deceived by the amount of directions. This is a super easy recipe just a lot of little nuances that make it delicious.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a glass 9x13 dish.

First, create the almond crust. In a small food processor, grind up graham crackers until they are fine crumbs. Set aside in a medium sized bowl. Then, add almonds to processor, a little at a time, and chop until almost as fine as the graham cracker crumbs. I like a little more crunch so I like to leave a few of the almonds more coarsely chopped. Add almonds to bowl of crumbs. Then add melted butter. Mix with a spoon until all the crumbs are wet with the butter. Pour into the glass dish. Spread and press with your fingers evenly across the bottoms of the dish. Refrigerate crust for 15 minutes.

Now, prepare brownies by following directions on the box, substituting applesauce for the oil. There are enough calories and chocolate without the oil. You won't even notice the difference. Pour brownie mixture over the almond crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until brownies are set, but still a little gooey. Just a tad.

In the meantime, prepare fudge topping. In a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan, heat chocolate chips, butter and sweetened condensed milk until completely melted. Do not allow it to boil. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside for a minute. Then chop remaining 1/2 cup almonds for topping. Chop these nuts, in a processor again, but not as finely as the crust. Keep them a bit larger. Add marshmallows (cut if not mini) to bowl and set aside.

Once the brownie is baked, remove from oven. Immediately top with remaining 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (or chunks of large mallow cut up). Then immediately pour hot fudge on top. Spread evenly with spatula or icing spatula. Then sprinkle marshmallows and nuts evenly over the top. Place in the oven for about 3-5 minutes to just barely melt the marshmallows. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack until reaches room. temperature. Once cooled cover with plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate. Chill for 1 hour or more. When ready to serve cut with a serrated knife. If knife gets goopy simply wipe clean with water and cut again.

Enjoy!

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