Mississippi mud brownies with Midnight Milky Ways

It's Halloween candy-buying season, and what better way to put it to use than in a delicious gooey chocolate brownie? 

By , The Pastry Chef's Baking

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    A layer of brownie is topped with a layer of Midnight Milky Ways, finished off with a layer of warm chocolate frosting.
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Almost without exception, I always love pics of various recipes for Mississippi mud brownies or cake. The frosting is always flowing and gooey atop decadent baked chocolate deliciousness. But I never make it. Why? Because I don't like marshmallows.

I don't like their taste (too sweet) or texture (too rubbery) and can only stand them melted down with butter and holding rice Krispies together. But I feel like I'm missing out on a whole repertoire of caloric, chocolate heaven. When I came across this recipe on Pinterest from Cooking Classy, it was so tempting to try and get over my dislike of marshmallows and make these as is. But I just couldn't do it. I have a hard time trying to eat rubbery sugar.

Fortunately it's Halloween candy-buying season and I remembered Midnight Milky Ways. They're like regular Milky Ways except with marshmallows to go with the caramel, and covered in dark chocolate. I wouldn't eat them "straight" (I rarely eat Halloween candy anyway) but baked in something? I'm OK with that. More to the point, I could chop them up and substitute them in for the marshmallow layer in the original recipe (skipping the torching them part), melt them down slightly in the last few minutes of baking, and cover them with the flowing, gooey chocolate frosting. That's about as close to the real Mississippi Mud anything I'm going to get.

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Okay, this is the part where I shed any semblance of modesty and declare myself a brownie genius. Substituting the Midnight Milky Ways worked in spades. There was some marshmallow substance that provided some gooeyness and the glimpse of white marshmallow blanketed in chocolate but not enough to be rubbery. The Midnight Milky Ways melted slightly as you blanket the hot brownie with them in the last few minutes of baking then you cover them with freshly made, hot/warm chocolate frosting which melts them into further gooey deliciousness.

I didn't finish making these until late at night and it was too late to try them then (even *I* have a chocolate curfew) so I didn't try the taste test piece until the next day. Even then, it was gooey chocolate perfection. Granted, they're very rich so you may want to cut into small pieces. And I'll add my usual caveat of "go workout first." But it's worth it. I included some of this in goodie bags when I met friends for dinner and counseled them: "If you eat nothing else from this bag, eat the brownie."

Mississippi mud brownies with Midnight Milky Ways

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 package Midnight Milky Way minis, each mini cut into fourths (they're easier to cut cleanly if you chill them first)

Frosting

1/4 cup salted butter

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-x-8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil; spray with cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt until well blended. Using a wooden spoon stir in melted butter and mix until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and stir until blended. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and bake in preheated oven 35-37 minutes (under bake slightly as you'll be returning them to oven to melt the Midnight Milky Ways).

3. Remove from oven and sprinkle top evenly with the chopped Midnight Milky Ways. Return to oven for another 2-4 minutes before removing. While brownies are still hot, cover evenly with the warm chocolate frosting. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

For the chocolate frosting: 

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Add milk and cocoa powder and cook whisking constantly until mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and using an electric hand mixer, stir in vanilla, and powdered sugar. Use frosting immediately.

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