I had been tossing around the idea of making brownie crisps for a while. Imagine my surprise to find out recently that you can actually buy Brownie Brittle in stores now. While discussing this with a very handsome young man I know by the name of Rocco, he clued me in on what he and his Mom did to make one of his favorite new snacks even more yummy ... they sandwiched marshmallow creme between pieces of Brownie Brittle!
I told Rocco that I had been thinking about making brownie crisps at home by spreading a thin layer of brownie mix onto a sheet pan and baking it, but I really liked his marshmallow idea. I asked what flavor he thought I should make, and his immediate response was strawberry, so strawberry it is!
You could do it the way I mentioned above and break the baked product into random pieces, but when thinking about sandwiching them with the marshmallow creme, I liked the idea of more uniform pieces. My first instinct was to bake it on the sheet tray until just set, then scoring it into squares and returning it to the oven to finish baking. Then I remembered I had a mini-muffin pan!
NOTES: Here are two do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do tips. First off, I made the mistake of automatically grabbing my go-to brownie mix. Why was that a problem? I like fudgy brownies. Fudgy is, by definition, counter-intuitive when making something crispy. Secondly, because I was doing other things at the same time, and it was getting late, rather than storing the chips (yes, they were crispy at the time) in a tin like I should have, I just shoved the tray back in the oven and shut the door. When I got back to them the next day, they had softened up again. The humid weather didn't help matters.
1 pkg brownie mix, plus the required eggs and oil per pkg directions
1/2 c pureed strawberries (I used a bag I had in the freezer)
1 packet unflavored gelatin
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c corn syrup
1/8 t salt
Red food coloring - optional
Coconut, chopped nuts, etc. - optional
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Prepare brownie mix per package instructions.
- Pour 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of brownie mix into the wells of a lightly-greased or sprayed mini-muffin pan - you want just enough brownie to cover the bottom.
- Bake for about 10" until just set - I didn't want to bake them until crispy directly in the muffin pan, because I was afraid they would get stuck, so I baked them until set, let them rest for about 3", then flipped them out onto a sheet pan.
- Return to oven and bake for another 10" or so until firm - turn off oven and leave in until nice and crispy.
- Pour your strawberry puree into the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the gelatin over the top to bloom.
- While that's going on, in a small pot, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat until the sugar melts, then increase the temp and bring the mixture up to a boil until it reaches 240 degrees.
- Slowly pour the sugar mixture over the strawberries/gelatin and run the mixer on low for a minute or two, then increase to high and let it run for a good 10-15".
- If you want to bump up the color, add a little red at the end.
- Spoon mixture into a piping bag or a zip-lock bag with a snipped corner, and pipe onto half of your brownie crisps, topping them all with the other half.
- If desired, roll the edges in coconut or chopped nuts
This is definitely a creamy marshmallow mixture (awesome fresh strawberry flavor by the way). If you prefer a stiffer marshmallow, go ahead and add another half packet of gelatin at the beginning. Because of the fresh strawberries, I am storing the leftovers in the fridge. I did actually read about someone who makes large batches of marshmallow creme and freezes it, so I might try that to see how it works out ... if there's enough left. I did manage to sneak in a peanut butter and strawberry marshmallow wrap when all was said and done. I'm thinking this would also be great with some sliced bananas over your favorite ice cream.
Thanks for the idea Rocco. If you've got any others, I'd love to hear them and see what I can whip up! Good luck in school this year. :)