chocolate raspberry liqueur brownies

I made my mom brownies for Mother’s Day which was a good idea and all, except that I gave them all to her and didn’t leave any for myself me and Toby. Really, I tell ya’, it was a problem. So Monday night rolled around and I was really jonesing for brownies. But not just any brownie. I had raspberries in the fridge and I was darn certain those raspberries just needed to be in those brownies (and in my belly).

Plus, there’s kind of just no stopping me once I get a craving. It’s like there’s this monster inside me, who lies dormant most of the time, and everyone thinks I’m all quiet and shy like. But then I’ll get a craving and all of a sudden it’s like RAWWRR! And then, pretty much everyone has to get out of my way until the monster has been satiated.

Anyway. So chocolate. And raspberries. I was on a mission.

I went on yet another internet search for a good brownie recipe. (I’ve tried a few and they’ve been okay, but nothing to really clap my hands, jump up and down and giggle in manic glee over.) And I found one that touted itself as the ULTIMATE BROWNIE. (But then, have you noticed? A lot of people claim they have the ULTIMATE BROWNIE. I’m unconvinced.) I’m going to say I think this was a damn good brownie. And I figure everyone has their own notion of what the ultimate brownie looks like, ranging on the spectrum from cakey to fudgey. This one falls probably closer to cakey. But the liqueur makes it yummy moist.

And hello? Chocolate + raspberries + liqueur?

All right then.

So I found a recipe that satisfied the criteria of 1) only has ingredients I already had in my cupboard. Because, you know, it was like 8 o’clock at night and I wasn’t really going to make a trip to my grocer, and 2) actually looked like it’d make a pretty good brownie. But I didn’t have quite all the ingredients they wanted, so I had to improvise. (As in the recipe called for 8 1-oz squares of unsweetened chocolate and I had 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips. So I had to cut the recipe in 3/4. That’s always fun. Especially when you’re as awesome at math as I am. NOT.

Don’t worry; there’s still plenty of brownie at the end. And that was Monday and this is now Friday, so we’re just going to pray I remember exactly what I did, m’kay?

Here’s what you need (I’m pretty sure)
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. butter
4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
handful of fresh raspberries
about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of Chambord Liqueur

Here’s what you do:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.

2. Put butter and chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Nuke for about a minute and a half. Check and stir. If it needs more nuking, microwave it in 30 second intervals until fully melted. Stir vigorously to blend chocolate and butter. Blend about 1/3 of a cup of the Chambord into the chocolate mixture. (Now don’t shoot me, but I think it was about 1/3 – 1/2 of a cup. I just poured in a bunch – about a tablespoon or two at a time – and had no qualms about doing taste tests until the chocolate-raspberry balance just tasted good to me. Then when I mixed it in later with the flour, etc. I realized the raspberry taste wasn’t strong enough again so I had to add more. Which made it too liquidy. So I tossed in a little bit more flour. So these measurements are approximate, but I think they’re all right.) Set aside.

3. In another bowl (or a stand mixer if you have one), beat eggs, sugars, cocoa, and vanilla at high speed for 10 minutes. Yes, the recipe actually said 10 minutes – hence the joy of a stand mixer. I don’t have a stand mixer. So I stood there diligently mixing. For about 3 minutes. Then I got bored (and really wanted brownies already!) so I stopped. The brownies clearly survived and my kitchen didn’t explode in a fiery ball of sin (although, that might have been fun too…), so I say mix until you’re done mixing. It’ll be all right.

4. Blend in the chocolate mixture, flour and salt until everything is mixed up nicely. Add the raspberries and pour into the prepared pan. Bake about 30-40 minutes (don’t overbake it!). Check with a toothpick for doneness then set out to cool. Brownies are always best if they’re just a smidge underdone because they bake a little more as they cool.

I cut mine into 16  (about 2 x 3 inch) brownies. If you’re on Weight Watchers and counting points, it makes about 346 brownies. :)

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