Rocky Road is a popular ice cream flavor, and the combination of chocolate, marshmallows and nuts is so well known that it can be used to make a lot more than just ice cream. For instance, these Rocky Road Scones will be instantly recognizable to fans of rocky road. They are chocolate scones with mini marshmallows, walnuts and chocolate chips. Definitely not your usual breakfast fare!
The scone dough is made much like other scones, with butter cut into a flour mixture to give the finished scones a light, flaky texture. I recommend sifting the flour mixture for this recipe because it contains cocoa powder, and you don’t want to get unincorporated lumps of it in the dough. Mini marshmallows add some extra sweetness and walnuts add a nice crunch, while those chocolate chips up the chocolate factor considerably. Walnuts could also be substituted with almonds, if you prefer almonds to walnuts in your rocky road.
These scones have a great, brownie-like chocolate flavor to them along with that light texture of a regular scone. They’re moist and not too sweet, so they still seem like a good breakfast or brunch treat, rather than a straight dessert. They are best when they are still slightly warm and fresh out of the oven, while the marshmallows are still soft. If you can’t eat them all at once, however, they will keep well for a day or two when stored in an airtight container after cooling.
Rocky road is a classic ice cream flavor made with chocolate ice cream, walnuts and marshmallows. This snack cake packs all of the elements of rocky road into, well, a cake! As much as I like the ice cream, I have to admit that I just might like this cake a little more. It’s easy to make, easy to snack on and it has a fun look to it.
The Rocky Road Cake has a very tender, brownie-like base to it that is chock full of walnuts. The ingredients for the cake look similar to the ingredients for brownies, but the texture is much lighter than a brownie recipe and it has a soft, almost fluffy texture – not a fudgy one. I used very large chunks of walnut – halves, quarters and other big pieces – to give the cake a lot of texture and make sure the buttery flavor of the walnuts really came through.
This cake is baked in a 9×13 pan, and just before it is finished baking, several cups of miniature marshmallows are sprinkled on top of the cake. The cake goes back into the oven, where the marshmallows puff up and turn into a sweet, sticky topping. A little bit of chocolate fudge glaze is drizzled over the marshmallows to finish off the cake. The fudge glaze is a small-batch version of a marshmallow fudge recipe, and some of the mini marshmallows are actually mixed into it. It makes for a pretty presentation and definitely helps tie everything together.
Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing it, and use a very sharp knife that has been lightly greased with vegetable oil to ensure clean slices. The cake keeps well in an airtight container for several days after baking and is perfect to take to an end-of-summer barbecue or picnic!
Chocolate, nuts and marshmallows are the only things you really need to put together a delicious rocky road – and I really have a soft spot for a good rocky road. My favorite rocky roads are ones that are simply loaded up with marshmallows. Others prefer ones that are heavy on the nuts. And just about everyone wants plenty of chocolate in the mix. There aren’t too many options for commercial rocky road bars out there, so making rocky road at home gives you not only convenience, but lets you mix and match the proportions to create your ideal bar.
This recipe originated in an issue of Everyday Food, which is a great magazine that is always packed with everyday-type treats and dinner recipes, as 95% of the content is strictly recipes. I was completely tempted by the picture that accompanied the recipe and, while the bars look far better in person than they do in any photo, I certainly hope you get the same feeling from my photo, above. The bar is moist, dense and very chocolaty, like a very rich brownie. The chocolate, nuts and marshmallows take the flavor over the top and, while an even 1:1:1 ratio is going to produce the most balanced bar, you should feel free to use more chocolate or more nuts to get your favorite ratio into the bars. Rocky road usually features walnuts, but I prefer the flavor of pecans and used those in this recipe.
Now, I should mention that these are different from the Rocky Road Brownies I made a while back. The base has no leavening agent in it so it is denser and more candy-like than that of a traditional brownie. Also, all of the rocky road components are on top of this bar, rather than mixed into the batter. This means that you get a double dose of chocolate, from the bar and the chocolate chips, in addition to the crunch of toasted nuts and the sweetness of the topping marshmallows.
Ever since I saw the s’mores brownies in an issue of Cook’s Country last year, I wanted to try them. Unfortunately, not only did I completely forget about them, but when I finally got around to trying the recipe, I didn’t have any graham crackers to make the crust with. Rather than make my own grahams, I decided to go a different route by making rocky road brownies. After all, the thing that appealed most to me was the marshmallow topping, so the change from crust to nuts was not a big deal.
Baking brownies turned out to be a good excuse to try my new pan: the Baker’s Edge. Baker’s Edge has an unusual, innovative design. As you can see from the picture below, there are extra edges running throughout the pan and their purpose is to evenly distribute the heat as your food bakes, eliminating soggy centers and overcooked edges. In a traditional pan, getting the timing just right can be a challenge, especially for sweets like brownies and cheesecakes, though the same holds true for savory casseroles and lasagnas. If you have never under- or over-baked anything, you’re lying. I know I have.
I mixed up the brownies and poured them into the pan. I topped the batter with chopped up pecans, even though walnuts are more traditionally used in rocky road, before baking. I like the flavor of pecans better, especially when sweets are concerned, and putting them on the top of the batter instead of stirring them in allowed them to toast slightly in the oven. Because the brownies were slightly thinner than they might otherwise have been , I reduced the baking time from the original recipe.
So did the pan work? Were my brownies evenly done?
Yes, and they were fantastic. The pan is made of heavy cast aluminum and has a nonstick coating, so I didn’t even need to grease it before baking (though I probably would in the future, just to be on the safe side). The brownies were evenly cooked and slightly fudgy in the middle with crisp edges and a crackly crust. Each piece had the perfect ratio of crust to center. I’d say that in terms of brownie baking, this is easily the best pan I’ve ever used.
The brownies just use melted chocolate, not cocoa powder, for flavor and were more chocolaty that I expected them to be. They were moist and tender, but not dense or heavy at all, as brownies made with melted chocolate can somtimes be. I used bittersweet chocolate rather than unsweetened and did not find the brownies to be too sweet, but I recommend using unsweetened rather than semi-sweet or another milder chocolate if you cannot find bittersweet. The nuts made a nice, slightly crunchy contrast to the base, but the marshmallows were still my favorite part. They browned up perfectly after only a few minutes under the broiler and were simply delicious, especially when they were still slightly warm.
By the way, most recipes that fit a 9×9 or 9×13-inch pan will not have to be adjusted to use the Baker’s Edge, so if you don’t have one, you can make this recipe in a normal pan.