Booze + Chocolate = Happiness.
First off: Happy 2012! I hope you all had a safe and fun New Year's.
And speaking of New Year's...let's talk booze, shall we?
After making butternut squash lasagna for my family's Christmas dinner, I was left with half a tub of ricotta cheese. I took most of last week off, so I had plenty of time to research a few ricotta recipes on the Internet, in hopes of making use of my leftovers. When I stumbled upon this recipe for spiked ricotta brownies - which I had most of the ingredients for - I immediately decided to make my own version of them.
Brownies with Rum, Amaretto & Ricotta Swirl
Yields: One dozen large brownies
Adapted from lifesafeast.blogspot.com
-1 box chocolate fudge brownie mix, prepared via directions on the package
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-2 tsp. dark rum
-1 tsp. Amaretto
-3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
-3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
-1/3 cup sugar
-1 large egg
-4 tsp. whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1.) In a small bowl (separate from the brownie batter), mix ricotta, rum, Amaretto, cinnamon, butter, sugar, egg and flour. Add chocolate chips to brownie batter.
2.) Pour 2/3 of the brownie batter into a greased 8-inch square brownie pan and spread evenly. Pour the rum-Amaretto-ricotta mixture evenly over the layer of brownie batter. Pour the remaining brownie batter over the ricotta mixture, and carefully spread evenly (try to avoid mixing the ricotta with the brownie batter).
3.) Marble the brownies by cutting through the batter with a sharp knife quickly from side to side (creating a "swirl" design).
4.) Bake the brownies for about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven (my oven took about 60 minutes to fully bake the brownies - but just check them often). Once a toothpick comes out clean in the center, the brownies are done.
The end result was an incredibly moist, decadent brownie with a very subtle "booze-y" flavor. The ricotta and chocolate chips only helped to make these brownies wonderfully indulgent and rich. You can't go wrong with a brownie mix!
What are you looking forward to in 2012?