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Craving a sweet treat? Use your cast-iron skillet to make a luscious dessert

Lawman Johnson, America's Test Kitchen on

A 12-inch cast-iron skillet can handle just about any meal, from breakfast to dessert — and brownies are no exception. The best ones have crispy, chewy edges and rich, fudgy middles.

A combination of Dutch-processed cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate created complexity, and a little vanilla added more depth. To achieve that perfect fudginess, we took inspiration from fudge. Many fudge recipes call for marshmallows or a marshmallow product. By simply melting some marshmallows along with the cocoa powder mixture, we created a super-fudgy batter.

To add a pleasantly subtle warmth to our brownies, we added a combination of cinnamon, pepper, and cayenne with the flour mixture. The heat complemented the otherwise sweet brownie.

Finally, we folded in bittersweet chocolate chunks for gooey pockets of lush melted chocolate throughout the brownie.

A well-greased skillet ensured that there weren’t any issues when removing the brownie wedges from the pan. We baked the brownie on the bottom rack of a preheated 350-degree oven for about 35 minutes and then allowed it to bake further on a wire rack (due to the cast iron’s strong heat retention), resulting in the right soft and fudgy interior. Top with a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream.

Spiced Cast-Iron Brownie

 

Serves 12 to 14

2 ounces (57 grams) marshmallows, (about 8 large marshmallows)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm tap water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

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