The baseline is clear: these brownies are very, very good. But at what temperature?
Starting with some seedless raspberry preserves left after a cake proved disappointing, Michelle decided jam might be delicious if layered between shortbread and brownies. Adapting an Alice Medrich recipe, she produced a marvelous combination of crispy short crust, fudgy brownie topping and tartly sweet jam in between. Fairly simple to make, Michelle thinks they would likely work with other jam flavors such as apricot, cherry or strawberry.
After sampling a bit of the very rich brownies, we froze the rest to enjoy later. That’s when the temperature question arose. Michelle let the brownies sit out for a while to bring them to room temperature, believing that (or slightly warmed from a few seconds in the microwave) is when the flavors are at their best. Steve likes to eat the brownies right out of the freezer. That way they’re less sticky, have a chewy, fudgy texture he enjoys, and best of all: no waiting.
We both have our opinions. But, delayed or instant, we agree these brownies will certainly give you gratification.
(adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet) Shortbread crust ingredients: Brownie ingredients: Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350° F. Line an 8″ square pan with two sheets of aluminum foil at right angles. Make crust by combining melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon to make a dough. Pat crust into pan, building slightly up sides. Sprinkle nuts over and press into crust. Bake for about 15 minutes until starting to brown all over. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. When slightly cooled, pour preserves over and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Make brownie topping: Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set in a wide skillet over simmering water (or use a double boiler). Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat and stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Add eggs one at a time, stirring until incorporated. Then stir in flour and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and glossy. Scrape brownie batter into pan, being careful not to dislodge the raspberry preserves, and smooth it out. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until top is starting to show cracks. Let cool completely on a cooling rack, then remove from pan by lifting the edges of the foil. Cut into serving pieces. These freeze well.
RASPBERRY JAM SHORTBREAD BROWNIES
(adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet)
Shortbread crust ingredients:
These freeze well.