Some girls like flowers for Valentine's Day. Other girls prefer a romantic dinner, or request sparkly jewelry, or dreamy spa days. A few want tropical getaways. Some want puppies.
Puppies are traditional Valentine's gifts, right?
But, for these ladies (that's us), nothing says love like butter and chocolate...
AND sparkly jewelry...
AND setting some marshmallows on fire under the broiler.
Flames of luuuuuurrrrrve, muffins. Flames of passion!
Not about setting marshmallows on fire in the oven because we definitely did that but we're more kidding about them being appropriate for Valentine's Day.
In fact, we recommend NOT allowing any sugar or sugar-like products to alight on February 14th because it totally stinks up the kitchen and no sweetheart really enjoys being presented with a charred, smelly brownie on such a special day.
Unless of course that's what you're going for and you're trying to send a message to said sweetheart something along the lines of a lump of coal in a stocking at Christmas. In which case, um, ok.
But, here's an awesome thing about marshmallows; they are easily scraped off when they are hot (or burnt).
See! Nothing to cry about! We all make mistakes, some of us more frequently than others like when attempting to make macaroons or homemade caramels. We just buck up and start hysterically laughing and wondering if perhaps the flames will destroy the oven and call the other sister and move on to talking about the requested sparkly jewelry and steak dinners. No biggie. Nothing broken other than perhaps a few eggs. Just start again.
Man, baking for Valentine's Day is totally easy and stress-free.
PS- We have actually modified this recipe to ensure that you lovelies don't make the same flaming error that we did. Fear not. We've got your backs!
Makes 12 very rich brownies
For the Crust:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (about 10-12 large rectangle sheets)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch kosher salt
For the Brownie:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large cold eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the Topping:
2 cups large marshmallows, sliced in half around the barrel
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over both edges by at least one 1 inch.
To make the crust, lightly butter the foil with a wee bit of the melted butter. In a small/medium bowl, stir the rest of the melted butter together with the graham crumbs. Then add the sugar and salt and stir to combine. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the brownie part. Put the butter and chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on medium percent power for 1-2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Remember that the chocolate will continue to melt after you remove it from the microwave and keep stirring. Don't let the chocolate burn! Stir into the melted chocolate/butter mixture both sugars and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.
Pour batter into the prepared graham crust. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean but with a few crumbs, about 50-55 minutes. Check the brownies after 45 minutes because oven temps do vary and this is a really thick layer of chocolate. Your batch may take even longer than 55 minutes. Our brownies took over an hour.
Remove from the oven and turn up the oven temp to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (do not use the broiler). Layer marshmallows across the top of the brownies. Put the pan back in the warmer oven on the middle rack and watch while the marshmallows toast. This will take 2-4 minutes. Remove them from the oven when they are a puffy, golden brown.
Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil with a knife and peel away. Cut into 12 (2-inch-ish) squares while still warm (trust us, this is easier) and serve immediately.