This was my first time doing a dessert in my dutch oven. I was a little nervous at first, but I am finding that dutch ovens are very forgiving. I feel like I am beginning to see just how versatile dutch ovens are. I think that with some more experience, I could adapt just about any recipe to use in them. But for the next little while, I am going to use tried and true dutch oven recipes. I am still learning a lot every time I cook, but I don't think I am ready to start making my own creations or using more complicated recipes. I hope that by spring that will have changed. One thing that I have noticed about dutch oven recipes is that they all seem to be heavier kinds of comfort foods. I hope that I can learn to adapt some non-traditional recipes for dutch oven use.
I think that today's recipe may quite possibly be perfect. I don't care where you cook it, you can't go wrong with marshmallows and peanut butter cups melted on a brownie. This is my version of manna from heaven. This recipe is from "101 Things to do with a Dutch Oven".
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
3/4 cup chopped pecans (I left these out)
1 cup mini marshmallows (I used 2 cups)
1 cup chopped peanut butter cups (I used 2 cups)
In a bowl, whisk butter and cocoa together. Add eggs one at a time, whisking between each. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and flour. Pour into dutch oven sprayed with nonstick spray containing flour (I just coated mine with vegetable oil and didn't have any problems, you could also line your oven with foil). Sprinkle pecans over the top. bake at 400 degrees using 18 coals on the bottom and 12 on the top. Bake 12 minutes and then remove heat from the bottom, but continue baking with top heat 15-20 minutes longer. Remove lid and sprinkle with marshmallows and peanut butter cups. Replace lid and remove all coals. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings.
The Finished Product
What I learned
I learned that I should trust my first instinct when cooking brownies. I looked at the cooking times and thought "No way". In my oven with a constant temperature, even a small pan of brownies takes almost an hour. When I make this recipe again I will start checking for doneness after 20 minutes of top and bottom heat, and it will probably be almost ready after 30 minutes, then I will take it off the bottom heat and finish up with about 20 minutes of only top heat. This is a recipe that you will want to keep a close eye on. I also left the coals on the lid while the marshmallows and peanut butter cups were melting to speed up the process.
As I said before, this was manna from heaven. It is a very rich dessert and I probably didn't need all the calories so soon after Christmas, but I have to admit, it was worth it. The cooking times were a big problem, but even with having to stop cooking to wait for more coals to be ready they were still almost perfect. One spot in the center was a little done on the bottom but they were still sinful. You should really make these. Go to the store. Now. You won't be sorry, and you will be thanking me and singing my praises by the time you are through.