I don’t normally write about candy, but these decadent brownies are an incredibly delicious vehicle for M&M’s that are ever so slightly melted — just the way my mom loved them.It was the summer of ’81 and I was eleven years old.
My mom and I drove from L.A. to Spokane to visit my aunt.
I wasn’t bored at all — and that’s saying a lot for a tween stuck in a car for hours and hours.
There a two things about the trip that I’ll never forget…
First, we listened to a Simon and Garfunkel cassette over and over. (Yes, cassette. It was 1981, after all.) Our favorite song was Cecelia because the rhythm was so upbeat. I’d never before seen my mom so into music, and we sang along with Art and Paul.
Second, and probably more importantly, this was the trip my mom discovered her love for ever so slightly melted M&M’s. My mom was a person who rarely went anywhere without chocolate, so naturally a bag of M&M’s was kept within arm’s reach, on the dashboard.
When we started snacking, the M&M’s were ever so slightly melted on the inside, but they still had their nice, crunchy shell on the outside (like a good M&M should). My mom was in heaven.
Well, ever since that trip in 1981, my mom would frequently enjoy a tiny dish of ever so slightly melted M&M’s, and – believe it or not – she spent quite a bit of time perfecting how to achieve the correct consistency without a dashboard or the sun. My dad ultimately took charge of preparing the M&M’s for my mom — he was instructed to prepare them as follows:
Fill a very small bowl with about 30 plain M&M’s and place them in the microwave, on high, for 18 seconds. No more, no less.
Everything my mom did was very precise, and the ever so slightly melted M&M’s were no exception.
In this recipe, the brownies are less cake-like and more fudge-like. They’re decadent and delicious, and are the perfect vehicle for M&M’s to melt — ever so slightly. They are not a very thick brownie, in order to leave room for the M&M’s.
I wish my mom could have one.
- 4 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 2-ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (about ½ cup)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain M&M's
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust a rack to the center. Grease an 8 X 8 X 2-inch baking dish with the teaspoon of butter.
- Cut the 4 tablespoons of butter into cubes and add it to a small saucepan. Add the chopped chocolate and place the pan over low heat. Once the butter and chocolate have melted, remove from the stove and set aside to cool.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Add about half of the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to blend. Then add the rest and blend again.
- Fold in the flour, sifted cocoa powder and salt. Mix until smooth and then use a rubber spatula to help pour it into the prepared baking dish. Spread the batter evenly.
- Evenly sprinkle the top with the M&M's and gently press them into the batter.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated 350 degree F oven and bake until set, about 25 minutes. Let the brownies cool in the baking dish for at least an hour before cutting them into about 16 equal pieces.