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Rocky Road Brownies
“These super-rich brownies made chocolaty with plenty of cocoa powder have less fat than other brownies, but stay extra gooey and good with marshmallows, nuts and chocolate chunks on top.”
1 cup less 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4½ tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural (see Note)
1¼ cups sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 regular-size marshmallows
⅔ cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
⅓ cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate or large chocolate chips
1Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil coated with cooking spray. (Leave enough of an overhang to be able to lift the brownies out of the pan later with the liner.) If you don't plan to let the batter rest at the end of Step 3 before baking, position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
2Thoroughly whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
3Melt butter in a medium saucepan until sizzling. Remove from the heat and stir in cocoa, then sugar. (The mixture will look like a mass of very dark brown sugar.) Add egg, egg whites and vanilla. Stir briskly until smooth and glossy. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Then stir briskly for about 50 strokes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. The batter will be very shallow in the pan. If you have time, cover the pan and refrigerate for a few hours or up to 12 hours. (This hydrates the cocoa powder and flour and brings all the flavors into sharper focus.) Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking; preheat oven to 350°F.
4Quarter marshmallows with an oiled knife. Distribute the pieces over the batter, pressing them in. Distribute nuts and chocolate (or chips) around the marshmallows.
5Bake the brownies until the marshmallows are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. (If you can find a place to test for doneness where there is no melted chocolate or marshmallow, a toothpick should come out with some moist, gooey batter clinging to it. Brownies in a metal pan will bake faster than those in a glass pan; if you're unsure, bake a few minutes longer to make sure the brownies are done in the middle.) Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack for about 2 hours. Lift the ends of the pan liner and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 brownies.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3; refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Store brownies in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Note: Cocoa powder comes in two styles: natural and Dutch-processed. Dutch-processed cocoa has been treated with alkali, or "Dutched," to neutralize the natural acidity of cocoa, while natural has not. For this recipe, we prefer the taste of natural cocoa powder, although either type can be used.