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So, those of you who have moved to a new, unfamiliar city will understand this… I just got invited to a holiday party by a co-worker. This was very kind of my co-worker, because I know *no one* in Seattle. I consider myself to be a bit of a fake extrovert; as much as I love to be social, going to a party where I don’t know anyone makes me a feel a little anxious.

How to cope?! There’s only one way, of course: bring a fabulous dessert! Something homey, delicious, and crowd-pleasing (this means chocolatey, obviously). And, pack it in a bakery box. Somehow, the presence of a box makes everyone take you seriously (I don’t know why, but if you are in doubt, try it; you’ll see what I’m talking about).

I decided to combine two separate Pam Anderson works of genius: her brownie recipe + her all-purpose chocolate glaze recipe. Taking inspiration from my dad, I decorated the brownies with marshmallows (my dad bakes with marshmallows about once a decade, and when he does, he makes it count!). It creates a dessert that is pretty without being pretentious, and the taste is exactly as the title suggests: fudgy, chewy, cakey, and absolutely delicious. It’s so fabulous that I might suggesting making one to keep for yourself…

Okay, let’s get started:

Gather up your ingredients!

And get your pan ready

Whisk the dry ingredients until they are happily blended

and melt your chocolates and butter gently in a double boiler

Whisk in sugar, vanilla, and eggs (add the eggs one at a time, and whisk fully- you don’t want them to cook in the hot mixture)

Add the flour mixture. When it’s all combined, it should be nice and shiny, like this:

Spread your batter into the pan, and into the oven it goes!

It emerges a little while later, looking like this:

(perhaps yours won’t have the gaping hole… that’s what happened when I tested my brownie too soon. No worries, though, it’ll get covered up by the topping).

Next, you’ll want to make the glaze and while it’s warm, paint it across the top of the brownie (I used a silicone brush, but the back of a spoon would also work well). Sprinkle the top with marshmallows- the glaze will work as a glue and help the marshmallows stick- and then again using a knife or spoon, drizzle the top of the brownie with more glaze.

The end result looks like this:

Fudgy, Chewy, Cakey Brownies

recipe by Pam Anderson, marshmallow inspiration by my dad

2/3   cup all purpose flour

1/2   teaspoon salt

1/2   teaspoon baking powder

Vegetable cooking spray

2   ounces unsweetened chocolate

4   ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I used bittersweet!)

10   tablespoons (1 stick + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 1/4   cup sugar

2   teaspoons vanilla extract

3   large eggs

3/4   cup toasted walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts or peanuts (optional… I opted to leave them out, since I’m taking these to a party and not everyone loves nuts)

Marshmallows (for topping)

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.

Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside. Spray and 8-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Fit a 16-by-8-inch sheet of foil in the pan and up 2 sides, so you can use foil overhang as a handle to pull cooked brownies from pan. Spray sheet of foil with vegetable cooking spray.

Melt chocolate and butter in a medium bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Continue to whisk until mixture is completely smooth and glossy. Add dry ingredients; whisk until just incorporated. Stir in nuts, if desired.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out with wet crumbs, 35 to 45 minutes (note: my brownies took 55 minutes to fully bake)

Cool brownies in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use foil handles to pull brownies from pan. Completely cool brownies on rack, at least 3 hours. Cut into squares and serve. If not serving immediately do not cut brownies. (Whole brownie cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil, and refrigerated for up to 5 days).

All-Purpose Chocolate Glaze and Frosting

by Pam Anderson

4   ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

4   tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1   tablespoon corn syrup

Melt chocolate and butter in a medium bowl set over a pan of almost simmering water. Stir in corn syrup. Proceed with decorating.

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