Maybe I’m just too darn old, but I don’t remember Cosmic Brownies from my youth. But seeing photos of the copycat version of these frosted brownies topped with a rainbow of candy orbs, I had to test out a batch.
My Flawed Childhood
I do remember my mom treating us to the occasional Little Debbie Swiss Roll, Archway Pecan Cookie or Hostess Apple Pie. But we never had Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies. What was my she thinking?! But thanks to my blogger friends, I became aware of these rich, chocolate devils over the past year. They were dense, dark chocolate brownies topped with a fudgy icing and a rainbow of colorful candies. When I was asked to do a demo for Meatless Monday on our local CBS affiliate, I knew I’d have to take in a dessert. Thank goodness my desserts are 100% meatless. I had my chance to make these new-to-me brownies.
You can spot the chocoholics a mile away. They’re the ones who circle the table before striking up a conversation. One of the staff at the station had to mention that he really liked chocolate. I promised I was leaving the whole tray to be enjoyed after my segment. Of course, I had to squirrel away a few for the chocoholics at home. Bill gave them his seal of approval—not that there was any doubt!
Mary’s Secret Ingredients
I offered a giveaway a few weeks back for Mary’s Secret Ingredients. Mary offers a seasonal box of goodies for the home cook. Always a good value, the items in the latest selection would cost over $10 more if you purchased them yourself. A year-long subscription would make a terrific holiday gift. The fall box featured these four wonderful items:
Ardent Mills — UltraGrain All–Purpose Flour
Coastal Goods — Sarah’s Sea Salt Tuscan Salt
Jenkins Jellies — Hell Fire Pepper Jelly and Guava Brava
POURfect — World’s Most Accurate Measuring Spoons
I’m excited to use them all—but the best, in my opinion, are the measuring spoons with the odd amounts like 1/3 teaspoon, 1/32 teaspoon, and 1/64 teaspoon. PERFECT when making a quarter or a third of a recipe. And one of the best reasons to purchase one of these fun boxes is that “MARY’s secret ingredients is a proud supporter of Feed The Children, the global initiative dedicated to providing aid to children and fighting the hunger epidemic.” So a gift for you and a gift to help the mission to eradicate hunger.
- ¾ cup butter (1½ sticks), melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons coffee
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup cream
- 1 cup mini candy-coated chocolates
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with non-stick foil (or use regular foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray). Set aside
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter using 30-second increments
- Add the sugars and mix to combine. Then add the eggs, coffee, vanilla, and stir till well mixed.
- Add the cocoa powder, instant espresso, and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour, cornstarch and baking powder and stir until it's just incorporated; don't overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with an offset spatula. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes till top looks set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs. Cool on a wire rack.
- While brownies have cooled for at least a half hour, make the ganache. Add chocolate chips to a medium, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for one minute. Set aside. Heat the cream in a Pyrex measuring cup or another microwave safe bowl till it starts to boil. Remove and pour over chocolate chips. Let stand about 5 minutes before whisking to combine. If there are any small lumps, you may microwave for 15 seconds and whisk till smooth. Repeat if needed.
- Pour ganache over brownies and smooth with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with candies and chill for at least 2 hours.
Adapted from numerous recipes including Averie Cooks Homemade Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies/