I may never bake another brownie again. Oh, I will certainly make brownies, but now I’ve found a recipe that rivals even the one I discovered in Kate Moses’ gorgeous memoir-with-recipes, Cakewalk, the brownie recipe I said — oh, less than two months ago — was the last brownie recipe you would ever need.
Well. If you want brownies without turning the oven on (which is useful in the summer) keep this recipe handy.
The irony here is that I did have to turn the oven on. Lacking the chocolate wafer cookies that are a key ingredient, and with my local market out of stock, I baked them myself rather than drive around to other markets looking for them. My recipe comes from Alice Medrich’s glorious Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies but you can find a very similar version of the recipe at Smitten Kitchen.
And yes, I did put up with a fair amount of teasing for baking cookies to grind up to put in my no-bake brownies. Those folks would be eating their words if their mouths weren’t so full of brownies right now.
Here’s what you need:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk (from one 12-ounce can)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies (from two 9-ounce packages; if you bake these yourself from the recipe linked above, you’ll have plenty for the brownies plus a dozen or so leftover. Do not share them with anyone who teases you about baking cookies to put into no-bake brownies.)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons salted cocktail peanuts
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Here’s what you do:
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides.
Heat chocolate and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until chocolate melts and is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Set aside 1/3 cup.*
Combine cookies, 2 cups coconut, 1 cup peanuts, the sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Pour in chocolate mixture; stir until combined.
Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Spread reserved 1/3 cup chocolate over top. Finely chop remaining 2 tablespoons coconut and 2 tablespoons peanuts; sprinkle evenly over chocolate.* Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Remove brownies from pan by lifting plastic wrap. Remove plastic, and cut into 24 brownies.
Keep refrigerated (or even frozen). These would be excellent broken up and stirred into ice cream.
* I didn’t read the recipe very carefully (typical) and forgot to reserve chocolate/peanuts/coconut for the topping, but of course the brownies taste just as good with all those ingredients inside rather than on top.