For Chocolate Lovers only

Chocolate cake


Mud Pie Cookies

Two-Tone Coconut Crunch Squares

Chocolate Architecture 101

Rocky Road Oatmeal

Hot Rocky Road Brownie Sundaes

Sweet Spot


Hot Rocky Road Brownie Sundaes

Tips: This isn’t quite instant gratification, but in the baking world it comes close. A simple brownie batter is baked, cooled for 10 minutes, then sliced into squares and topped with marshmallow crème, chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream. Pass me a fork! If you prefer, you can cool the brownies completely, then store them airtight at room temperature for a day or so before cutting into bars, reheating briefly in the microwave, and topping as suggested above.

I’ve used a 7 by 11 inch baking pan here simply because my 9 inch square pan is currently hiding. In any case, the pan needn’t be a deep one, as the brownies will be in a shallow layer. Of course, you can eat the brownies by themselves, too. This would be a nice recipe for introducing young helpers or culinary novices to the alchemy that is baking.


  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into thin pats
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs, graded “large”, preferably at room temperature and beaten to combine
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, stirred with a fork before measuring
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts OR pecans

For serving:

  • Marshmallow crème OR miniature marshmallows
  • Slightly softened, good-quality chocolate ice cream
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • A few chopped walnuts OR pecans (use the same type of nut you used in the brownie)

For brownies: Line a 7 by 11 OR 9 by 9 inch baking pan (at least 1-1/2 inches deep) with heavy-duty aluminum foil (or use a doubled length of regular weight foil), folding any overhang back against outer edges of pan. Press out as many creases inside pan as possible. Using solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco), grease foil very lightly. Set aside. Adjust rack to center of oven.

In 1-1/2 to 2 quart heavy-bottomed, nonaluminum pot, place chopped chocolate and butter. Place over very low heat; stir almost constantly until mostly melted. Remove from heat; stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before proceeeding, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

After 15 minutes, add sugar, vanilla, and salt to chocolate mixture; with large spoon, stir in thoroughly (mixture will have the texture of wet sand). Beat in beaten eggs until well-mixed. Stir in flour until almost blended, then add nuts and stir only until they are evenly distributed.

Turn into prepared pan and spread level, making sure batter is well pushed into corners. Bake in preheated oven for 14 to 17 minutes, turning once back-to-front about halfway through baking time. When done, a toothpick inserted near center of brownies will emerge with a few moist crumbs still clinging to it. Do not overbake!

Remove brownies to cooling rack; allow to cool 10 minutes. Have ready dessert plates with shallow sides and other ingredients for serving.

When brownies have cooled 10 minutes, use a small, sharp knife to cut them, still in foil and in the baking pan, into 8 or 9 large sections (cut the brownies into eighths if you used a 7 by 11 inch pan, and into ninths if you used a 9 inch square pan). Carefully, using a broad-bladed spatula, remove each cut section to a serving plate (hot brownies are very fragile—don’t worry if yours don’t make it to the serving plate in one piece. Who will notice after all those toppings are added?) Top each with a large spoonful or two of marshmallow crème (or use miniature marshmallows), followed by a scoop of chocolate ice cream. Drizzle the ice cream with some chocolate syrup, then top with a puff or rosette of whipped cream. If you wish, sprinkle on a few more nuts. Serve the completed sundaes immediately!

Alternatively, allow the brownies to cool completely before storing at room temperature, airtight, for up to a day or two. To serve then, cut brownies as described above and transfer each cut piece to a microwaveable dessert plate. Microwave for about 15 seconds at high power, just until hot (my microwave is only a 700 watt model—your timing may vary and you may want to use a lower power). Top as directed above and serve immediately.

Yields: 8 to 9 servings

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