Not what I call a brownie….

…but who am I to judge? This weeks TWD pick(selected by Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook) was a French Chocolate Brownie. It was no brownie to me, but basically flourless cake…well, almost flourless. No time to be creative, I decided to just make the brownie. I went to get raisins from the cupboard and there were none. Hmm, maybe I should grocery shop. So I searched around and found trail mix. That has raisins in it. Sure I wasn’t about to soak M&M’s, peanuts, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and almonds in rum, but the likelihood of my husband eating them now increased greatly.
A lot of people got annoyed at the “crust” that forms on top of these brownies. I always just take it off and flip the cake, or in this case brownie, over and use the bottom as the top. That way no one knows you had a crusty, cracking top. Sneaky, eh? Not really.
Thanks to all who stopped by my new blog, Northwest Noshings to check it out. I greatly appreciate it.

French Chocolate Trail Mix Brownies
– makes 16 brownies –
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup trail mix
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you’re using it.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It’s important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you’ve got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them¢â¬â€it’s better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.
Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated¢â¬â€you’ll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds¢â¬â€the dry ingredients won’t be completely incorporated and that’s fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the trail mix.
Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.
Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.
Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they’re even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside¢â¬â€good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!
Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Source: Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours


  1. i was wondering what those colored spots were when i saw that first picture! hopefully they were husband approved!

  2. Nice effect the m&m’s have on your brownies! They look great. I wasn’t annoyed by the top, never saw something like it before and it tasted great!

  3. I love the colors that the m&ms added. And of course Dorie didn’t think these were brownies either, so you’re in good company there. =)

  4. Trail mix – what a good substitute. I hope your husband liked them!

  5. Oh yum M&Ms are one of my favorites! Great job!

  6. Are’nt you creative using the m&ms. I am out of raisons too, want me to pick some up for you?

  7. The substitution sounds lovely, but I can’t see any photos.

  8. Oh, man. I wanted mine to turn out like flourless chocolate cake!

  9. OK, now that sounds good! I did not get a weird crust on mine.

  10. yum! I hope your husband enjoyed them!

  11. Oooh that flipping over is a good trick! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. When I flip over a flourless chocolate cake, I dust the bottom (now top) with cocoa and I have to say, it looks mighty fine. Icing sugar can look nice too but adds sweetness that isn’t always what I’m going for.

  13. Nice sneaky tip–although I didn’t have a separate top grow on mine! And you made what seemed like a serious type brownie more fun with your additions!

  14. Waahhh!!! I can’t see the pictures, just the dreaded red x’s! I never get annoyed with the crackly top when I do a brownie or some other such thing. I am so wishing I could see your creation though as I know your things always look droolably fabulous!

  15. I can’t see the photos either, darn. The substitutions you made sound really creative, though. I’ll come back later to see the photos, I hope! :)

  16. The trail mix was a fun substitute. I’ve got to try that sometime. Great job!

  17. flipping it *is* sneaky! great idea!!

  18. No pictures here either :o(

  19. I am SO using that flipping trick!

  20. I like the crust, but I like anything chocolate. I can’t see the pictures either:(

  21. Bummer I can’t see pics. I’ll be back b/c I am definitely intrigued… Call me nuts but I like the crackled brownie top but the flipping trick is very genius for haters. ;)
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

  22. Peabody!! There’s no photographs!! I sooo want to see your creation!!

  23. I can’t see your photos either but I should have just taken the crust off too!

  24. Oooh interesting take on the brownie. I love the trail mix. It reminds me of those big candy bars I love from Switzerland that have nuts and tons of dried fruit in them. No candy coated chocolate, but it can only add to the goodness, right?

  25. I was wondering what that blue was! Trail mix in a brownie is actually an excellent idea…you get the best of everything!

  26. ha ha i love it…trail mix!!! and good tip on the flipping upside down.

  27. Very creative-love the trail mix idea!

  28. M & M’s in brownies? That’s my kind of trail mix! Especially if I don’t have to hike anywhere to eat them.

  29. you always stick the neatest things in everything! trail mix was a great idea. and thanks for the tip about flipping it over – i think i will do that in the future if i am serving this for guests…but for now it’s just me and hubby so the crust doesn’t bother me (just irked me that i couldn’t get great pics)

  30. Great idea to flip them over! I think the trail mix idea is brilliant – I guess that’s why they say necessity is the mjother of invention! Congrats again on your new blog – so fun!

  31. twinmom says:

    I don’t particularly like raisins in brownies or much else, but have you tried the Rick Katz Brownies for Julia from the same book? I love, LOVE these! They are nice and fat and fudgy and such a great texture. I add a bit of instant coffee powder to bring out the chocolate flavor. Cause nothings wrong with more chocolate flavor! :)

  32. Trail mix! I could totally go for that texture.

  33. Rum soaked trail mix sounds AWESOME!

  34. I’d eat those. Did the hubby?

  35. Looking at the first pic I was like…”Looks delicious!”. Then I was like “is that a little blue thing? Has Peabody baked smurfs into her brownies?” and then I read on to the recipe and realized you were not baking smurfs. With much relief, I would now like to eat five. ;-)

  36. O.K., that just looks and sounds soooo delicious!!!

  37. YUM! That looks and sounds delicious!! I am going to have to try that out very soon! Great Job!

  38. There’s a cranberry trail mix that would be great to try this with. The crust is one of my fav parts for a brownie, and it’s so strange that some of ours came out exactlly like brownies and others didn’t!

  39. Those brownies look so moist and dense and good!

  40. Your brownies look delicious. I bet M&Ms made them sooo much better!

  41. Trail mix. In brownies. How quintessentially Northwest. And… brilliant!

  42. You gotta go with what you’ve got! I like your colorful brownies.

  43. Okay – the trail mix is hilarious but I love the little technicolour bits peaking out from your brownies. Way to improvise!

  44. Love your take! I’ve been craving brownies lately and this week’s TWD is not helping me resist…

  45. I was wondering why your raisins looked blue in that top picture! Nice job!

  46. mmmm…brownies good, trail mix good, you, great! Nice job! Gotta love a good flip!


  47. I wondered why I could see color in your brownies and guessed right about the M&M’s!

  48. a crackly top doesn’t bother me a bit but great idea to flip them! :)

  49. I like its very dark color, Pea.

  50. I love your tip about flipping the brownie over to hide the crackly top!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

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