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Recipe from Sober Celebrations
What's more comforting and welcoming than chocolate, especially when used to whip up this gooey and delectable dessert? Mississippi Mud Cake fans will hum with pleasure as they enjoy this rendition in the form of personalized brownies. Make these the night before if you can to " give them a chance to set for easier cutting. You'll need two square brownie baking tins to make enough to go around. To save cleanup time, buy disposable 8-by-8-inch aluminum pans. Whichever you use, be sure to grease the pan comers and crevices well before baking.
   Purchased caramel sauce will make this a breeze to create, and store-bought, pre-chopped pecans also save a bit of time. Don't use an electric mixer in this instance, as it tends to over-beat the batter. You can, however, enlist the aid of a food processor on the pulsing mode to combine the ingredients. Otherwise, a good, old-fashioned pastry blender and wooden spoon will do the trick.
Serves 20


• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup water
• 2 teaspoons alcohol-free vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups purchased caramel sauce
• 2 cups miniature marshmallows
• 1 1/2 cups shelled pecans, roughly chopped
• 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 8-inch-square baking pans.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Alternatively, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly (or use a pastry blender). Add the eggs, water, and vanilla, and pulse or stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Divide the batter between the two baking pans and spread evenly to the edges.

3. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted near, but not in, the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, spread the caramel sauce evenly over the brownies, and sprinkle the marshmallows and pecans over the top. Return to the oven and bake a further 7 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and set aside.

4. While the brownies are still warm, melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave for 1 minute, stirring until smooth. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the warm brownies and set aside to cool completely Cut into squares, arrange on a platter, and serve.


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