When we first started this blog, we decided we didn’t want to be unecessarily chatty in introducing our recipes. We agreed that for the most part, when we are looking at other blog recipes, we typically scroll down quickly to the recipe recipe, where it’s written out in recipe format, and pretty much ignore everything else. So for our blog, unless we have something we particularly feel like saying, we try to skip all that intro story telling and get right to the recipe.
And yet, I always feel like I shoud say something, even if there isn’t much to say.
Apparently Google prioritizes blog recipes with longer headnotes. It’s kind of ironic, because for me, if I’m even using Google to find a recipe, I usually just look at the recipe, and not all the introductory chit chat. It’s only the blogs that I regularly follow that I care at all about what they think, or a cute story about their day, or how they came upon a certain recipe...and for those, I don’t use Google to get to them.
It’s funny how much of the internet is artifice. How much is driven by algorithms that are, essentially, meaningless. How many decisions online are made by others—designers, computers—before we are even presented with any content.
And it’s all done in such a way that we don’t even notice it.
All that to introduce these brownies. They are chocolatey, they are almondy, they are dense and fudgy, they are studded with marzipan, and they are gluten-free. Make them today, make them tomorrow, don’t make them. I’m not going to tell you what to do. I’m just saying these are easy, they are different, and they disappear at parties.
[For the marzipan filling]
3/4 cup almond flour/meal
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1-2 tablespoons water
[For the almond brownies]
10 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs, straight from fridge
1/2 cup almond flour/meal
Make the marzipan filling. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat/stir together almond flour, powdered sugar, almond extract and 1 tablespoon of water. (I do this in the kitchen aid, but I’m sure you could do it by hand.) Add additional tablespoon of water if needed to create a smooth creamy paste.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil and grease lightly.
Prepare the brownie batter. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium-low heat, stirring until butter is completely melted and mixture is hot to the touch. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract. Add the cold eggs, one at a time, beating after each with a spatula or wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. Add in the almond flour all at once and continue to stir until no streaks remain, about 40 strokes.
Pour roughly two-thirds of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Dot the batter with about 2/3 of the marzipan, using a spoon to gently swirl and combine. Top with remaining brownie batter, and then dot with remaining marzipan. You can leave as-is, or swirl it a little bit with a spoon. Bake at 325 degrees for 23-25 minutes, until the outer edge forms a crackled crust and the middle is just set. Cool completely on the counter before cutting. Note: these are very fudgy so they will be hard to cut unless they are completely cool!
Make them ahead: these keep well without drying out; they may even taste better on the second day. So go ahead and make them ahead.