Living in NYC, I don’t get a lot of people who are “just in the neighborhood” and “stop by.” In a way, this is a good thing, because who knows if I or my apartment are presentable. But, in another way, I wish I did have the apartment, or home, where people enjoyed taking a load off and just wanted to hang out and say hello.
Which brings me to this past weekend….I needed a little cheering up so I decided to make the Chocolate Raspberry Bars I had seen Giada De Laurentiis make on one of her recent shows. I needed chocolate, I needed to feel creative, but I didn’t want a huge hassle. This recipe is perfect since it takes a box brownie mix and turns it into “wow.”
These brownies seemed to beckon people into my apartment because I was fortunate enough to share them with a few friends who really did just happen to “stop by.” One of these friends has lived in my building for over ten years. She just moved to a new neighborhood this weekend and we both made a pact that we would make more of an effort to see each other now that we don’t actually live in the same building! Isn’t that always the way, though?
So, here’s the recipe (with my comments in italics). And, if you are ever in the neighborhood, stop by…you never know what I might be cooking up!
Chocolate Raspberry Bars
2/3 cup raspberry jam
1 (21-ounce) box brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge) [I don’t know where they got 21 oz…I think the closest I could find was 19 oz, but it’s for a 9×13 pan]
3 eggs [use 3 eggs for cake-like brownies and 2 eggs for fudgier brownies]
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted [I had to add a little water to the chips to get them to melt okay…just a warning!]
1/2 cup chopped salted almonds
- Position a baking rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
- In a small saucepan, stir the jam constantly over low heat until pourable, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, blend together the brownie mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Using an electric hand mixer beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Spoon the jam over the top of the brownie batter. Using a small spatula, swirl jam into the brownie batter. [Make sure you swirl to the edges of the pan, otherwise, yours will end up like mine…a whole lot of raspberry in the center!]
- Bake for 27 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted about 1-inch from the edge of the pan comes out clean.
- Spread with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with salted almonds. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
- Cut into 16 bars and store airtight in a plastic container for up to 1 week.
♦ Buttery B