Choco-Coco Crisps

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I had pretty much a full package of marshmallows left over from my horrid disaster with s’mores, and a sizable chunk of baking chocolate that needed to be consumed before we left the province.

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So start with a giant pot and your gooey whites, around 40 large marshmallows.  Chuck them in the pot with 3 tablespoons butter and heat that on medium low, stirring frequently.Choco-Coco Crisps 3

While that’s on the go, butter two large baking dishes.

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Chop up about 4oz chocolate (I used milk chocolate) and use your microwave or a double boiler to melt it down.

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When the marshmallows start to melt, you can add in a few tablespoons vanilla extract and a few tablespoons coconut extract.  Be careful, as the alcohol in the extracts will fizz up.  Keep stirring as the marshmallows continue to desolidify.

Pour in the melted chocolate when the marshmallows are nearly entirely melted and remove the pot from the heat.  This will prevent your melted chocolate from seizing.

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Stir quickly until it’s all well combined.

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Pour in about 1 cup sweetened dessicated coconut and stir that up.

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Add in as well 6 cups crisped rice cereal and stir until it’s all evenly coated with chocolate goo.

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Using a buttered spatula or buttered hands, flatten the crispies into the buttered pans, pressing down firmly into the corners.

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Chop up about 8oz chocolate, melt that, and spread it thinly over the top of the crispies in both pans.

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Allow the chocolate to set for a bit, but cut your treats before it’s completely hardened.  Chill to set completely.

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And then, well, you eat them.  Simple as that.

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Extreme Comfort Brownies

I made these brownies at the end of what had been a tough week for some of my friends.  Nothing makes me feel better faster than a gift of comforting baked goods.  Especially if they’re made of chocolate.  This comfort recipe is an embellishment on the traditional brownie, and has an extreme amount of frosting.  It’s fab.  I doubled the recipe here to make two 8-inch pans, but you can halve this easily if you wish.  For this recipe I also used unsalted butter for once, so I did end up adding salt to the mix, which I usually don’t do.  Go with your own preferences on this one.

Line your two pans with foil and spray them evenly with vegetable oil or cooking spray.  Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Sift together in a large measuring cup 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking powder.

In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (or a double boiler if you’ve got one), melt 4 squares (1 ounce each) baking chocolate (your preference as to sweetness) together with 2/3 cup butter.

I also had some leftover Nutella lying around so I added that as well, about 4 tablespoons.

When it’s all melted and smooth, remove it from the heat and allow the bowl and its contents to cool slightly before stirring in 2 cups granulated sugar.

Add 4 eggs and beat until blended.  For a lighter-textured brownie, beat the eggs more thoroughly.  For a denser brownie, beat the eggs a little less. 

Pour in 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.

Add your flour mixture and stir it up, then spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the pan comes out clean.  Place the pan on a rack to cool completely before lifting out the giant brownie blocks.

Now, you can just leave them plain at this point, or dust them with icing sugar, or you can frost them.  I’m going with frosting.  More chocolate means more comfort.  Honest.

While the brownies are cooling, cream together 6 tablespoons softened butter with 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.  An electric mixer helps with this part.

Alternating and adding a bit at a time, stir in 4 cups confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar) and 6 tablespoons milk.  Blend it until smooth and the right texture for spreading. 

I think I added more milk than was required to get the right texture.

When you get it to your preference, add in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix that up as well.

Remove the brownies from the pan and separate them from the foil lining.  Spread the frosting generously across the tops of the brownie.  And I’m serious when I tell you to be generous.

Cut the brownie into small squares and pop them in the refrigerator so the frosting can harden a little.

You can keep them at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for a little while.  Kristopf ate all of the leftovers, however, so I’m not sure how long that little while actually is.