Stephen’s Raspberry Brownies

Stephen’s Raspberry Brownies

Here’s a guest entry, written by Stephen, my husband—yes, the famous “S” has asked to be de-anonymized. We had a dinner party last weekend (which I’m planning to write about, I promise), at which we served warm, cozy, comfort foods: butternut squash & apple soup, macaroni & cheese, salad, and for dessert, Stephen’s raspberry brownies. We forgot to take pictures of the finished product—they got gobbled up pretty quickly—so you’ll just have to use your imagination. Honestly, they looked exactly like regular brownies, of the fudgy/chewy variety.

Hi again. I cooked up this hare-brained variation back when I was single. I was always looking for the easiest way to make something unique. In this instance, I started with something surefire: brownies-from-a-box. I’ve had so few real-deal brownies in my life, it’s difficult for me to compare, therefore brownies-from-a-box are perfectly fine (as opposed to, say, sauce-in-a-jar).

As far as brands go, I’m not a loyalist. I can’t tell much of a difference between Betty or Duncan, especially since their instructions/directions are identical. I also buy a 12 oz. bag of frozen raspberries.

Defrost half of the raspberries. Next, strain them through a small strainer. (I thought this must be the silly, man-in-a-kitchen method, but Debbie says it’s exactly the way she’d do it. If you know a better way to get the juice separated from the seeds, let us know!)

I pour the raspberries into the strainer, put the strainer over a larger bowl, and press a small glass bowl onto the raspberries, forcing the juice through.

I find it helps to use a spatula to scrape the excess off the bottom of the strainer, especially if the raspberries aren’t completely thawed.

I do this mashing until I have a little more than 1/3 cup of raspberry juice.

Make the brownies, following the recipe on the box except for one detail: swap the 1/4 cup of water with the 1/3 cup of raspberry juice. That’s it. The end result is moist raspberry brownies, but without resorting to the usual tricks (i.e. the brownies-in-a-box actually had a recipe for raspberry brownies on the back, which called for some kind of reddish demon frosting. Yuck.)

This is exactly how I made it the first time out about seven years ago, and I haven’t altered the recipe since. (Other experiments included morphing brownies-in-a-box with bananas and hazelnuts. Failures, both.) The next time I try it, though, Debbie and I will go out on the limb further, probably substituting some of the oil with more raspberry juice, as well as using more egg whites than eggs.

In all honesty, the raspberry taste is mild. So, as for a serving suggestion, you might want to defrost more of the raspberries and add them to the top or make more raspberry juice and decorate the plate the way they do in restaurants nowadays. Y’know, the way it looks like someone drew on your plate.

Debbie’s note: If you want to get REALLY fancy, you could also try swirling some seedless raspberry jam into the batter, after it’s already in the pan.