weeknight gourmet

A Sweet Treat for my Valentine

Hard to believe this is the 10th Valentine’s Day Tim and I have spent together!  Tim wowed me on our first Valentine’s Day together with a romantic meal at Chez Es Saada in the East Village (now closed) and a beautiful pair of silver earrings (one of which is now lost, but I hold on to the remaining one for sentimental reasons).

In honor of our 10th Valentine’s Day, I plan to make something sweet and chocolaty for my love.  I have baked these Raspberry Swirl Brownies a number of times and they always receive rave reviews.

Like my Super Bowl Cake, the brownies are from the Cake Mix Doctor.  This recipe starts with a basic brownie mix but you add a number of additional ingredients to boost the flavor.  The result is a super moist & chocolaty brownie batch with a wonderful touch of raspberry.

A few notes…

I don’t like nuts in my brownies so I omitted the pecans.

Make sure you use seedless raspberry jam!  Also, the jam will spread more evenly through the batter if the jam is at room temperature.

I am partial to Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract.  It costs more than your typical McCormick vanilla extract but I think it has better flavor.  I have had a bottle of the Nielsen-Massey for a couple of years and it has maintained its aroma and flavor beautifully.

Lastly, I am sure Nestle chocolate chips would be delicious in the recipe but as a dark chocolate lover I can’t help but adore Guittard Chocolate Chips.  When I can’t find Guittard, I typically use Ghirardelli chocolate chips.

Hope you enjoy some sweetness today!

Raspberry Swirl Brownies
from “Chocolate from Cake Mix Dr.” by Anne Byrn

  • Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
  • 1 package (19.8 ounces) brownie mix
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly mist the bottom of a 13- by 9-inch pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.

Place the brownie mix, melted butter, water, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are incorporated and the batter lightens in texture, 50 strokes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with a rubber spatula. Drop the raspberry jam by teaspoonfuls onto the batter, and with a dinner knife swirl the jam into the batter. Scatter the chocolate chips and the pecans evenly over the top. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the brownies until the outer 2 inches have formed a crust and feel firm, 23 to 27 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely, 30 minutes.

Slice and serve the brownies. Store these brownies, covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the brownies overnight on the counter before serving.

 

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