One of my fondest childhood memories involves summers spent at my friend Emily’s house. These summers consisted of drinking a lot of Capri Sun, and eating massive amounts of snack cakes and fried bologna sandwiches. I am going to go ahead and admit that between the ages of about ten to fifteen, I probably consumed five times my weight in snack cakes. Per year. No, I’m not joking, and no, I am not sorry.
I wasn’t really picky about what snack cakes I’d eat. Fudge Rounds, Star Crunch, Nutty Bars, Swiss Cake Rolls… if it involved chocolate, I would probably snarf it up in a heartbeat. But I did have one snack cake to which I was especially partial: the Cosmic Brownie. [Oh, the 90s…]
Now, at the ripe old age of twenty-six, you’ll rarely see me eating any snack cakes, Cosmic Brownies included. This is due to two reasons: 1) my metabolism isn’t what it used to be, and 2) I don’t really like the taste of most packaged treats anymore.
Anyway. Several summers ago during my second internship in St. Louis, I made the most magical discovery of my life: I came across a recipe for homemade Cosmic Brownies. You’d think I would have rushed to the kitchen to make them immediately, but no dice. There was one small problem: where was I going to find the vibrant, candy-coated mini chocolate chips that adorned the glorious Cosmic Brownie? Yeah, I could have just topped my copycat brownies with brightly colored sprinkles. But anyone who knows me knows that I care wayyy too much about silly details, and that the average, run-of-the-mill sprinkle just would not do.
And so the search for the rainbow, candy-coated miniature chocolate chips began. It might have taken me a month or two, but I finally found them at my local Joann Fabric & Craft store. I imagine I probably looked like a crazy person when I spotted them in the baking aisle. But seriously, check them out. Aren’t they the bomb.com? [And I’m someone who doesn’t say “the bomb dot com” very often…]
After I finally found these awesome candy-coated chocolate chips, I made Cosmic Brownies one time. They were good, but then I somehow forgot about them for a few years. Finally, now that I actually have a somewhat decent food blog, I decided that I should readdress them. The recipe that I found is definitely interesting. These are awfully close to the real thing; they’re super rich and fudgy. They don’t mess around; it’s just like, BAM! CHOCOLATE IN YO FACE! when you eat one. I’m a chocoholic, and I took two bites of one, and thought to myself, “Yup, that’s enough for now!”
All that being said, I wouldn’t advise stuffing your face with the entire pan in one sitting. However, my coworkers loved them, and I do too. Plus, they are not artificial-tasting, nor do they have that slight cardboard-esque aftertaste like their packaged counterparts.
And if you can find these rainbow chips, please do everyone a favor and splurge on a bottle of them. They make the brownies that much more cosmically delicious. The added color and crunch just makes the brownies out of this world. [Hurrrrr. I’m punny today.]
But if you want to use regular sprinkles, I won’t judge you… Maybe.
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Homemade Cosmic Brownies.
Yield: One 8×8″ pan of brownies.
For the Brownies:
– 10 TBSP. unsalted butter
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
– 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
– 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
– 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
– 1 TBSP. corn syrup
– 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 TBSP. cornstarch
– 1/4 tsp. salt
For the Frosting:
– 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– Wilton Rainbow Chip Crunch, or mini M&M’s, sprinkles, or other candy
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch (or 9×9″) baking pan with foil or parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.
2. Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl for about 90 seconds. Stir in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. If it’s still super hot, wait a few minutes before adding the next ingredients [you do not want sugary scrambled eggs… gross].
3. Add the vanilla extract, eggs, egg yolk, and corn syrup. Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
4. Add in the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
5. To make the frosting, heat the cream in a small microwave-safe bowl on high for about a minute. Add in the chocolate chips. Let it sit for about three minutes before stirring it until smooth. Pour it over the cooled brownies, and smooth it out evenly. Sprinkle the Rainbow Crunch chips over the top as desired. Refrigerate the brownies for about 1-2 hours, or until the frosting is set. Cut and serve. Brownies will keep for about 4 days at room temperature, and for about on week in the fridge.
– Recipe from Handle the Heat.