New York City can be a harsh place. For example, the city boasts the largest public school system in the country and eighth graders go through an intense application process for high school. First, motivated and competitive students take courses during seventh grade and summer vacation to get ready for the specialized high school admissions test. If students score high, they are eligible to attend one of the prestigious high schools in the city. Students and families tend to place a lot of pressure on attending one of these high schools. These are great schools with astounding opportunity and academics, but there are plenty of of other schools that will prepare students equally well for life after high school.
While students await their test scores they select other schools to attend. Keep in mind the high school directory is the size of a large phone book. Students fill out applications and hope for the best. Some schools have minimum requirements, some have special programs, and others are mostly lottery based. Needless to say, this is an intense period of waiting for eighth graders.
In March, high school admittance letters are distributed during school. Basically students are given a letter telling them where they will be spending the next four years in front of their classmates. There are students ecstatic about getting into their first choice school, there are students crying because they did not make it into their first choice, and worst of all, their are students who did not make it into any high school and need to go through this process all over again. Are you stressed yet?
Watching students experience the emotional highs and lows of this defining experience was exhausting. It broke my heart to see so many of students disappointed and upset. On the other hand, I was incredibly proud of so many students who watched their hard work and dedication pay off and get into the school of their choice.
We all needed a chocolate pick-me-up. Big time. I saw this recipe awhile ago and it sounded fun and delicious, a perfect treat for my students. Unfortunately the brownie roll ups do not look as fantastic as they taste. The brownie roll up looked a bit like a turd and the marshmallow filling was oozing out so I decided to cover it in chocolate. Two batches of seized chocolate later I was ready to give up. Luckily I persevered and used my last bag of chocolate and smeared it on top. Still a little turd-y. Enter pink sprinkles! They'll make everything better.
Who cares what something looks like when it tastes this good. The brownie is rich and moist, yet thin enough to be properly enjoyed. The marshmallow creme was not meant to be homemade (I forgot to buy some, so I quickly whipped up a batch) but was completely spectacular without any weird ingredients. All together, this a rich and sweet and wonderful treat guaranteed to perk up (or celebrate) any occasion.
One Year Ago - Snickerdoodles
Brownie Roll Ups
Adapted from Cookies and Cups
Yield - 16
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/8 cup light brown sugar
3/8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
Optional - sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease an 8 x 8” pan with shortening and then line the bottom with parchment paper. Leave parchment paper hanging over the side. Grease the parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan melt the chocolate chips and butter. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugars. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.
Stir in the flour and salt.
Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely.
Cut the brownie into 16 pieces and roll each piece between two sheets of parchment paper until flat. Trim if you desire a perfectly square shape.
Spread a layer of marshmallow creme on the brownie and use the parchment paper to roll up.
Place all the brownie roll ups on in the freezer while you melt the chocolate.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and stir in the shortening. Spread on the top of each brownie roll up.
Add sprinkles if you’re feeling crazy
Homemade Marshmallow Creme
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
3/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/8 cup water
pinch of salt
1 egg white
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
Heat the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a medium saucepan until the mixture reaches 240 F on a thermometer. Stir as needed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat on medium-high speed until you have soft peaks. Stop the mixer and wait until the sugar mixture is hot enough.
Turn the mixer back on and stream in the sugar syrup on low speed. Turn the mixer back to high speed and whisk for 6-7 minutes or until the bowl cools.