Thursday, June 12, 2014

eat: raspberry sea salt brownies & buttered popcorn cookies

Sweet-and-salty desserts are definitely my jam and these two recipes have quickly become faves in our house.

First up, raspberry sea salt brownies. Because sea salt makes every dessert mouthwateringly delicious, don't you think?

These are especially gooey and chewy with a wonderful thin crackly crust on top, a burst of tangy raspberry with every bite, and a slight salty finish. You're going to find yourself sneaking into the kitchen for *just* one more piece.


Raspberry Sea Salt Brownies
Makes 24 brownies
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, March & April 2010 issue

Here's what you need to make them...

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa (I used Hershey's)
1½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces (I used semi-sweet choco chips)
1 pint of fresh raspberries
Large flake sea salt for dressing

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces and half of the raspberries.

Scrape batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with remaining berries and sea salt. Bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.

Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days but I prefer them chilled and like to store them in the refrigerator (brownies will keep for up to 5 days refrigerated in an airtight container).

P.S. A friend told me she made these using a box mix & just added in the raspberries and sea salt. Her family loved them. No judgement here. In fact, I might even try it myself.


Buttered Popcorn Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies
From The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman

Here's what you need to make them...

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels

1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To make the popcorn: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan until hot. Add the kernels, and cover, shaking the pan to make sure all the kernels are in contact with the bottom of the pan.  As soon as you hear the first few kernels pop, shimmy the pan until all of the kernels pop (5 minutes or so).  Remove from heat, add melted butter and salt, and transfer to bowl.

Dough: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until smooth. Whisk flour and baking soda together.  Stir flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture, until combined.  Fold in popcorn, making sure to get dough well distributed.  It’s okay if the popcorn breaks as you’re mixing, and don’t worry if it seems like there's too much popcorn for the amount of dough. It all works out in the end.

Bake: Roll dough into mounds the size of a golf ball or slightly bigger.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to leave a 2 inch gap between cookies.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.  Let cool for a minute or so on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.


You might want to try these with a glass of chocolate almond milk while watching Orange is the New Black.  Just an idea (:


  1. You are a baking queen. Love the look of both of these!

  2. I love any sweets with salt, and I love chocolate and raspberries, so those brownies look amazing...I'll have to try them sometime!

  3. Raspberries + sea salt AND chocolate = my kind of heaven. I need to make these, with a big glass of milk as suggested!


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