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Rocky Road Brownies and Baker’s Edge

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.

Rocky Road Brownies

(adapted from a Cook’s Country recipe)
3 ounces bittersweet/unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup butter, cut into a few pieces

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2-3 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 325F.
Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan (or use the Baker’s Edge) and set aside.
Melt together the butter and chocolate, heating it in brief intervals in the microwave and stirring frequently. Set aside to cool slightly, for about 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Quickly beat in the cooled butter mixture, then stir in the flour until the batter is just combined. Scrape into prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
Bake for 22-24 minutes (22 for the larger pan size).
Turn on the broiler function in your oven. Top brownies evenly with the miniature marshmallows and broil for 2-3 minutes, turning the pan once, until marshmallows are evenly browned.
Cool the brownies in the pan before slicing and use a moisted knife to slice through them and prevent the marshmallow from sticking.
Makes 16 large brownies.

Note: You can leave off the marshmallows, if you wish, and just make the brownies with the pecans. Increase the nuts to 3/4 cup, if doing so.

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  • suburban housefrau
    June 13, 2006

    In higher quality chocolates, such as Callebaut (the kind I can get in bulk), there is much more similarity in the bittersweet and semisweet and i can sub one for the other with ease. However, I would never use unsweetened chocolate as a sub for bittersweet in a recipe using high-quality. I would definitely need to up the sugar…

  • Nic
    June 13, 2006

    Suburban housefrau – You should note that I was the one that substituted bittersweet chocolate in the recipe, which originally called for unsweetened. This is why I suggested using unsweetened if bittersweet is unavailable to you.

  • CE Murphy
    June 13, 2006

    Oh, *dear*. I went in search of a graham cracker recipe this afternoon and discovered…BAKING BLOGS!

    I have spent far far more time than I should have reading back posts and saying, lustfully, to friends of mine, things like, “*Oatmeal molasses bread*!” and, “Mexican chocolate loaf cake!”

    And I’ve only gotten through last November, working backward from the present! I’m doomed! Doomed, I tell you! Doomed!

    Your food photography is lovely, by the way. 🙂


  • Sara
    June 13, 2006

    Love that pan!

  • Jennifer
    June 13, 2006

    These look phenomenal!! Is the marshmallow topping still good the next day, or does it get deflated and icky?

  • Nic
    June 13, 2006

    Jennifer – The marshmallow topping stays good for a few days. It is, however, important to use storebought marshmallows, as they will hold up the best.

  • jo
    June 13, 2006

    i love that pan! do you think i could use the marshmallow topping idea on any brownie recipe?

  • Randi
    June 13, 2006

    funny, but I always prefer a middle piece rather than an end. I guess I’m weird.

  • Nic
    June 13, 2006

    Jo – You could use it on other recipes, too.

    Randi – My suspicion is that a lot of people like the middle pieces because the edges are overcooked. The edges were not overcooked at all here (because of the special pan), so it worked out perfectly and each piece was completely (deliciously) edible.

  • srah
    June 13, 2006

    Perfect! The edge-brownies are always my favorites anyway!

  • Clare Eats
    June 13, 2006

    what a great pan nic!
    That is the same reason that I prefer ring pans to bake cakes 🙂

  • Gustad
    June 14, 2006

    interesting pan. i love toasted marshmallows

  • emily
    June 14, 2006

    I love that pan!And yum…those looks great!

  • Joe
    June 14, 2006

    Jealous! I’ve been wanting one of these pans after I noticed it in the KA catalog. I remember hearing about the visa contest and the guy who developed the pan.

  • terri
    June 16, 2006

    Do you by chance still have the original recipe? I absolutely love s’mores and the idea of a s’mores brownie sounds amazing!

  • Lori
    June 25, 2006

    I had to blink twice the first time I saw that pan. It reminds me of the plastic containers used to keep cutlery in when it’s stored in a drawer. I say now that I don’t think I’ll need it, but I know that when I see that pan here in Manila, I’ll be one of the first to snap it up! The marshmallows are cutely browned, Nic.

  • Mochene
    July 15, 2006

    Cute pan! I also had to do a double-take when I saw it. Then I thought “what a cute maze to eat my way through!”

  • Wendy Vidette
    October 27, 2006

    Just tried baking it… The marshmallows turned out rubbery.. I left it in the oven for about 5-8mins as it didn’t turn out brown… Any idea what happened???

  • Queen Butter
    January 15, 2009

    I like the pan but would like to find out whether it is difficult to remove the brownies since there is no parchment paper whereby I can lift it up. Thanks for replying.

  • newdawnnewday
    December 25, 2010

    i was hoping for one of this pans since i’ve seen it featured on your blog (which i am visiting, and drooling over, all too often!) but under the tree i found the chicago metallic slice solutions pan, have you ever used one of those types? i might need to exchange for a bakers edge!

  • Angel
    December 8, 2012

    Oooh…you had me at “decadent”. It looks delicious.I saw your blog from the foiode blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won’t mind I’d love to guide readers to this post.Just add the at the end of this post and it’s all set, Thanks!

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