Things are looking rosy today.
Rosy as in pink. Pink as in frosting. Frosting as in brownies. Yesssss. I can’t wait to get into these with you. Or all by myself. There are far worse things.
I find brownies to be one of the easiest, fool-proof, crowd-pleasing desserts out there. Namely, because my basic recipe (below and in several other brownie posts on this site) doesn’t require any softening of butter (I have zero patience or time) or fancy equipment. The recipe always yields perfectly cooked, fudgy, intensely chocolately brownies. With room to be creative!
Like the time I added all the peanut butter products. I’m still hating/loving myself for that one.
Or that time I made a spiced citrus brownie situation.
Or that time I wanted an extra caffeine boost and made mocha brownies.
All good decisions. All based on a basic, go-to brownie batter recipe. All pure chocolate decadence.
So, what was missing from my brownie repertoire? A berry chocolate brownie! One of my most favorite flavor combos on earth is any berry mixed into dark chocolate (this tart is a stunner). Swooooooon.
I decided to go with raspberries this time because I think they are an underutilized berry. Strawberries and blueberries get so much attention, at least in my house, so I wanted to switch it up just a tad and go with raspberries for these brownies. It was another good decision, people.
The brownies themselves are flavored with raspberry jam. Sweet, a little tart, and plenty fruity; it’s the perfect compliment to that deeply dark, rich chocolate. Then! To make things pretty and festive for the upcoming Valentine’s Day celebrations, I made a [hot!] pink buttercream using fresh raspberries. AND THEN I cut the frosted brownies into heart shapes and decorated them with pink, red, and white nonpareil sprinkles.
Freaking adorbs, right?
Not only are these super cute and fun for sharing with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day (or any day, really. St. Patty’s day is right around the corner, after all, and I totally have a shamrock cookie cutter ready to go), but they’re really flipping delicious, too. Like, stupidly delicious. I made these for a friend/coworker’s birthday last week (love a recipe guinea pig) and they went over very well.
One last thing. A very important thing.
I’ve talked about this incessently before, but I can’t talk about brownies and emphasize just how much I love a FUDGY brownie. One of my sisters is a crispy edge freak when it comes to brownies, so we easily and happily can polish off an entire batch between the two of us. She gets all the edges and I get all the fudgy middles. She may be more of my soulmate than my husband.
I kid, I kid.
1 stick of unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
½ cup raspberry jam (I like seedless)
½ teaspoon espresso powder
1½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
3 oz fresh raspberries (defrosted frozen will also work)
3 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of fine salt
Powdered sugar or sprinkles
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Grease quarter sheet pan and line with a piece of parchment paper that overhangs the edges of the pan (makes for really easy removal later).
In a heat-safe bowl, mix together the butter and the chocolate. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each time, or until the butter and chocolate are melted. Stir well to combine and then mix in the raspberry jam and espresso powder while the mixture is still warm.
Whisk in the sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
Place the chocolate chips in a fine mesh strainer and set the strainer over the bowl with the batter.
Add the flour to the strainer and gently shake the strainer so that the flour falls through into the batter while simultaneously coating the chocolate chips.
Stir in the flour until it is just incorporated, resisting the urge to overmix the batter. Last, fold in the flour-coated chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the batter is set in the middle and the edges are crisp. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
While the brownies are baking, make the buttercream by pureeing the raspberries in a blender or food processor. Pass the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
With an electric or stand mixer, cream together the butter and half of the powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add the raspberry puree and the remaining sugar and beat until the frosting is very thick and fluffy. Taste and add a tiny pinch of fine salt, if needed.
Frost the completely cooled brownies with the buttercream. Place the pan of brownies in the fridge for about 30 minutes so that the buttercream can firm up a bit.
Remove the brownies from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper. Slice the chilled brownies and garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar, sprinkles, or fresh raspberries. If desired, cut the brownies into shapes using cookie cutters of your choice.
I actually cut my cooled brownies into hearts using cookie cutters BEFORE piping on the buttercream. This was for picture purposes. If I were just serving these for non-blog reasons, I would probably frost the brownies before cutting them. Totally your call!