It all started with this cookie:
I bought a little package of those little gingerbread men because I thought it would be yummy to make s’mores in the microwave with them (I already had chocolate and marshmallows at home). Then it hit me, mid s’more, that these would be great in brownies, so I decided to try an experiment based on my original S’morenie idea.
I went about doing it a bit differently this time around by putting the gingerbread crumbs on the bottom of the pan rather than sprinkling them over the top. In addition, I put the marshmallows in the brownie batter rather than on top. Also, this time, I used my Basic Awesome Brownies recipe. The whole process was a delicious experiment.
Now, the crust didn’t go as planned, but it worked okay – yes, just okay. I was trying to do the same thing I did with the salted caramel cheesecake bites by putting the gingerbread cookie and butter mixture on the bottom of the pan before adding the brownies; I didn’t want to mix them directly into the batter because I thought that would lose the flavor. Unfortunately, the base wasn’t really sturdy enough to support the rest of the brownie once they were cut up and being served – the bottom started crumbling apart. (The concept works for a cheesecake because it’s served on a plate where it gets to rest.) So that’s the only change I’d make to the recipe – or at least the preparation.
Since I put the marshmallows in the batter as well, it altered the texture – but in a totally awesome way; everyone commented on how fudge-like these were. The whole experiment was worthwhile, and an Evil Success. These are for sure a 5 on the Evil Rating Scale because, well, make them and see. I had leftover from the holiday party I’d made these for, so I brought them to karaoke later that evening and made many a new friend in the bar. No lie.
So here is the recipe for deliciousness, and I’ve modified it with the changes I’ve mentioned above. Of course, feel free to do your own thing!
GINGERBREAD S’MORENIES – makes 24
- 1 batch of brownie batter – I used this recipe
- 4oz gingerbread cookies
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup mini marshmallows or about 8 large ‘mallows, chopped (I only had the big ones!)
Coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13″ baking pan with baking spray. Then, put a piece of parchment over the bottom so it covers nearly the whole thing, and leave the overhang.
Prepare the graham cracker crumbs by putting them in a plastic bag and smashing them to bits. I’ll tell ya, it was one of those days where I was showing no mercy to those poor little gingerbread men.
Throw the crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix until all the crumbs are coated evenly.
(Yes, there are more crumbs in the bowl above than 4 oz. Originally I was using these for a full crust, remember?
You’re just going to be sprinkling them on top, so you won’t need as many. The amount in the recipe is really just a guess, feel free to use more or less as you please – just be sure to increase or reduce the amount of melted butter as well. If you want to make a crust like I did, however, use about 8oz of gingerbread and 5 Tbsp of butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a prepared 9×13 pan and put in the fridge for about 15 mins ahead of time.)
Prepare your brownies per the directions you’re following. Please keep that in mind for baking time and temperature too! The recipe I linked to above calls for baking temperature of 325ºF, so preheat your oven to 325ºF.
If you need to chop your marshmallows like I did, do so now. I added them into the batter just after I added the chocolate chips. Keep in mind since there’s a little extra incorporation of ingredients going on you’ll want to mix a little bit less when you add flour.
Then, I poured the batter over the crust in the prepared pan.
If you’re going to do the crumbs as a topping, which I would recommend, spread the batter evenly over the parchment and then sprinkle the gingerbread crumbs evenly over top.
Bake according to the directions of your recipe. Mine called for 20-25 minutes bake time. I started checking with a toothpick around 22, and it’s a good thing I did. It passed the toothpick test, but the top still looked “uncooked.” Again, having marshmallows in the batter altered the consistency, hence everyone asking about the fudginess. Make sure you check for doneness with a toothpick so you can avoid over-baking!
Another tricky thing with these brownies was getting them out of the pan. Because of their consistency, when I tried lifting up the parchment, the brownies bowed inward rather than lifting straight up. I found that popping them into the fridge (once they were already cooled) helped firm them up for moving them and cutting them.
If you’re looking for a holiday twist on a wonderful treat, I highly recommend you make these brownies.