Thursday, March 21, 2019

STRAWBERRY EXTRA-CHOCOLATEY BROWNIES: California Strawberry Day

Today is California Strawberry Day. It's also the first day of Spring, so it's a great day to celebrate! California is the nation's leading producer of strawberries. The coast of California has a unique environment with its western ocean exposure with moderate temperatures year round -- warm sunny days and cool foggy nights - the perfect combination for growing delicious, beautiful strawberries!

Last year on California Strawberry Day, I posted a recipe for Strawberry Chocolate German Pancake. I've also posted recipes for Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Covered Stuffed Strawberries, and 'regular' Chocolate Covered Strawberries. There have been others, too.

Visit California Strawberries for more facts, recipes, and apps.

I find that in the market, I can always depend on Driscoll's for fresh delicious California Strawberries, so it's no surprise I consult their website for special strawberry recipes (and other berries). In this recipe for Strawberry Extra-Chocolatey Brownies (recipe adapted from Driscoll's website), chopped strawberries add a fresh touch of fruity tartness to rich fudgy brownies. This is a quick and easy recipe. Use the finest ingredients-- California Strawberries, the best chocolate-- and you'll have a winner!

Strawberry Extra-Chocolatey Brownies

Ingredients
1 pkg. Driscoll’s Strawberries
4 oz. Unsweetened chocolate (I use Guittard)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1- 1/4 cup Granulated sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2/3 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate chips or chopped Dark chocolate

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 12 muffin cups, or coat with cooking spray.
Rinse and dry strawberries. Stem and chop 8 ounces berries (half the container, 1-1/2 cups chopped), reserving the smallest berries for garnishing.
Place chocolate and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Microwave on medium power 2-3 minutes until butter is melted; stir until chocolate is completely melted. (or melt in a double boiler)*
Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Mix in flour, chopped strawberries, stirring just until combined.
Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling one half full.
Bake 15-17 minutes until brownies are just set on top and no longer shiny. Remove from oven and sprinkle about 1-1/2 teaspoons chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) on tops. Return to oven 1-2 minutes until chocolate softens. Spread chocolate with the back of a teaspoon or knife.
Cool completely in pan. Run a knife around edges and lift to remove from pan. Before serving, halve remaining strawberries and place one on top of each brownie.

Pan Brownies Variation
Use an 8-inch square pan instead of muffin pan. Bake 25-30 minutes as directed above. At end of bake time sprinkle chocolate chips on top; return to oven for 1-2 minutes. Evenly spread chocolate. Cool. Cut into squares and garnish with strawberries.

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