Brownies for Breakfast?

    Not gonna lie, there are some things even I cannot eat in the morning. Today I learned that one of those things is a brownie. Truth be told, I don't really know how much I ate, all I know is that I rolled out of bed and while I was ganaching the top and cutting and priming them for my department, little pieces kept falling off and I couldn't bear to throw them away. So I ate them, and became quite ill. But the good kind...

    I have really caught the baking bug as of late and so on a recent trip to the grocery store, my boyfriend ever so slyly added another box of brownie mix to the shopping cart. Smart man because as soon as I saw it I had a plan - raspberry brownies! So decadent, so fudgy, so delicious. I think, if there's anything I've learned from my experiments with brownie mix, it is this:

    ANYTHING can go in a brownie and be tasty - marshmallows, peanut butter, M&Ms, Snickers. All you need to do to take it to that next level - to make it a little more "gourmet" if you will, is dress it up. For example, after baking the brownies, I made some more ganache and spread it over the top, then drizzled over some raspberry jam (which I heated in a saucepan to loosen). Now people know what's in it AND it looks like it should be on a magazine cover.

    All I did was prepare the brownie mix according to the instructions, substituting milk for water. I also ended up omitting the fudge packet (because it was late and I forgot), but everything turned out fine :) Again, I used the Betty Crocker Ultimate Fudge mix- I have found this mix makes a higher brownie while maintaining moisture, which I really, really like. There is something so satisfying about sinking your teeth into a tall, chocolaty, sinfully delicious concoction. Where was I again? Oh yes! After making the batter, I layered about half in the pan - I have really found that I enjoy making brownies in a round cake pan. I think it's because there seems to be less "edge" per piece (also I believe there is less surface area) and so the brownies stay fresh longer.

    I also coated the pan in waxed paper and then buttered the paper = no sticking. I made the mistake of not doing this last time and my poor pan paid dearly for it. The brownies were vacuum sealed to the bottom: we tried cutting them out with a knife and then one of us had the idea to bang the pan with a spaghetti sauce jar which, as we foun, dented the cakepan. It was a funny little episode that taught me it is just as important to line and butter your pans as it is to make a good recipe.

    So, there you are with 1/2 of the brownie mix layered in. Now, warm up about 1/3 cup raspberry jam and plop it over the top. Slightly spread it out so there is a layer. Alternatively, you could put in all the batter, pour over the jam, and use a toothpick to swirl it in. But I was ganaching this so it didn't matter to see the raspberry jam AND I think having it in the middle contributes to a more concentrated raspberry flavor.

    Cover with the remaining batter and bake as directed

    When the time is up and after they have cooled slightly - like 1 1/2 hours, make some ganache by heating 1/3 c chocolate chips with a couple Tbs heavy cream and spread it over the top

    I brought these into work as a Thursday treat - so I think the recipe is great as a party item or something to share when you don't have tons of time but want to make an impression. I promise next week there will be more savory items. I have just been in a baking mood :)

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