A Beautiful Bird and Marzipan Fudge Brownies

As a novice bird watcher, I am easily pleased. Even sparrows, seen close up through my camera’s viewfinder, are beautiful to me. So I really get a kick out of red-bellied woodpeckers when they stop by, drawn by the suet block at our feeder. The color of the bird’s cap is an amazing neon red. The red-bellied aspect of the bird is harder to see, but there is a rusty patch on its lower front. Here are some photos of this elegant bird. (The first two photos are of females, the next two are male, not sure what last one is!)

IMG_1634

IMG_1635

IMG_1519

IMG_2157

Not an elegant photo, but you can see the rusty patch on the bird's belly.
Not an elegant photo, but you can see the rusty patch on the bird’s belly.

I was not sure how to segue from red-bellied woodpeckers to Marzipan Fudge Brownies, so I am just going to go for it. Marzipan Fudge Brownies are basically just saucepan brownies, but they are filled with a thin layer of marzipan, and topped with toasted almonds. Marzipan, by the way, is a paste made from ground almonds and sugar. It has the consistency of modeling clay, and is very easy to use.

IMG_5153

Marzipan Fudge Brownies

IMG_51483 ounces unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 sliced almonds
7-8 ounces marzipan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside. Place the sliced almonds in another baking pan and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan and, using low heat, melt. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool. Stir sugar into melted chocolate mixture. Thoroughly stir in eggs, and then the almond extract. Blend in flour mixture.

Soften marzipan roll–it just takes a bit of kneading. On a piece of parchment or waxed paper, trace around the bottom of your pan, and roll out the marzipan to fit the square. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Shows rolled-out marzipan on top of batter.
Shows rolled-out marzipan on top of batter.

Evenly spread half of the batter into the greased pan. Lay the rolled-out marzipan on top of the batter. Spread remaining batter over the marzipan layer. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Baking notes: These are fudgy brownies, and I found that baked in an 8-inch pan they were, by my lights, too fudgy, if such a thing is possible. But as they cooled off, they firmed up into a fabulous fudge/brownie sort of thing. So if you like really fudgy, bake in an 8-inch pan, but if you like a moist, but more cake-like brownie, bake in a 9-inch pan. Marzipan can be found near pie fillings in your grocery store.

IMG_5157

Seems like we haven’t seen butterflies for a long time, so here is a photo to tide us over until summer. Peace to you. Fran

IMG_4024

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “A Beautiful Bird and Marzipan Fudge Brownies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s