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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Loaded Chocolate Brownies - See's Candies Review

It will come as absolutely no shock at all when I make the statement that I love chocolate. What may or may not surprise you is the fact that my absolute favorite chocolates are See's. Some of my very favorite memories of working in Downtown Salt Lake City was visiting the See's shop around the corner from our office about once a week during one of our lunch breaks with my cousin to just 'pick up a few things.' It always made the whole week so much better to go in and choose a few of my favorite chocolates and maybe try a sample of something new.

My all time favorite assortment is the Dark Nuts and Chews - a boxed mixture of dark chocolate covered caramels, Scotchmallows and nuts. I love knowing that I can get a box that every single chocolate in it is going to be something fantastic.

I decided to see what would happen if I made some brownie cupcakes and loaded them with some chopped up chocolates, and then topped them off with some toasted marshmallows. Well. The brownies you see below are what happened - and they are really, really good. I also thought it would be fun to use my brownie bite pan and make some little miniature brownies that were just the right size to snuggle back into the box of chocolates with the remaining chocolates that I didn't chop up. It made for a very fun, and delicious, presentation and treat!

I was contacted recently by a representative of See's asking if I would be willing to make something out of one of their products and then blog about it to help let everyone know that their Easter candy becomes available tomorrow (March 16th). Of course I jumped at the chance, but not only because I wanted the chocolates.

I remember, when I was growing up, that while Valentine's Day was fun to get some chocolates or something fun, it was actually Easter that I always wished I would get a really cool Easter basket. For me, Valentine's was more about flowers, but Easter was the time I really wished I would get one of those cool chocolate bunnies, or maybe even a pretty chocolate egg - better yet, one I could decorate myself. Brightly colored, egg shaped wrapped chocolates would have been great too.

Inevitibly, around our house, it was just the generic jelly beans in plastic eggs - which, don't get me wrong, is great too, but I always wished I would have had something a bit more fanciful. So, as for me, this year, I know exactly what I will be putting in Aidan's Easter basket. He is a chocolate loving kid and every time I see his face light up when he see's those chocolate bunnies, I just know that I am going to have to get one for him.

To see all of See's Easter candies and chocolates, visit them online at See's Candies.

Loaded Chocolate Brownies
By Holly, PheMOMenon

Makes 12 Individual Brownies + 24 Bite Size Pieces

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/8 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 Cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
7 ounces of assorted dark chocolate covered candies with nuts
1 1/2 cups marshmallows

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line or spray the muffin pan (12 cup or 18 if not making any mini's).

In a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt together the butter and chocolate, stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together the sugars, eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium until well combined and starting to lighten and get fluffy. On low speed, add the cooled chocolate/butter mixture and increase the speed to mix well, about 1 minute.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt. On low speed, add to the mixing bowl and mix just to combine. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chopped chocolates and nuts, just to combine. Fill the muffin cups, or whatever molds you are using, just half full with a scoop of batter.

Bake regular size cupcake portions 20 minutes, or until the surface has a glossy, crackled top. For mini's bake, 10 minutes. If you are using the marshmallows, once the brownies are baked, remove them from the oven and, while still in the pan, top them with a few marshmallows and place the pan back in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes - just enough to puff and lightly toast the marshmallows. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool just enough to handle, then remove the brownies from the pan and let cool completely.


Jules Someone said...

Oh! I love the dark nuts and chews! Maybe three years ago they had a See's holiday kiosk in our local mall. They had the dark mix on the shelves. I bought a box and seriously ate the whole thing myself. It took a few days, but I did NOT share. Since then, they haven't had any ;-( There aren't any stores where I live, so I haven't had a fix in a while. I'm too cheap to order and ship. I will live vicariously through you.

The Food Librarian said...

Holidays just aren't the same without Japanese crackers (arare) and See's candy at my grandma's house. See's started in Los Angeles and since we have very little history (!), we all hold it dear to our hearts. I once had a job near their corporate headquarters and manufacturing place...and you could SMELL the chocolate. Oh, so good.

Jess said...

I'm a dark nuts and chews girl I miss See's living on the east coast! My grandmother used to give us those big decorated eggs at Easter and we'd be buzzed on that nutty nougaty filling for days. The brownies look incredible.

Annemarie said...

My teeth hurt just looking at those pics. They look so yummy!

Maria said...

Wow, those brownies are looking WAY good! Nice job on incorporating the candy!

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