I have never been to the South.
Or really, the North.
Or, uh, anywhere East.
I have, however, lived in California my entire life and have traveled all over this gorgeous golden state. So ask me about the Golden Coast and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Okay, so I’m a bad traveler. So what? My mom was always insistent that every child should go to Disneyland or “it’s child abuse”, and so we did. Many times. Memories and trips I wouldn’t have exchanged for anything or anywhere else in the world.
But besides that? Nothing but a road trip (complete with car-sickness; ew) to Montana where we hit up Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming along the way, a brief trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the 8th grade, and a Christmas in Seattle.
I’d like to be a world traveler, but honestly, it costs too much money and I’m one of those “savers” that can’t see to the big picture. I just see it as “it’ll take longer than 5 minutes to have over $1000 in my savings account toward a lavish trip of a lifetime, so why not spend what I have now?”
In other words, I’m kinda sorta awful at both saving money and traveling. Yay!
However, despite my lack of culture, I do already know that I love the South. Southern food is one of my all-time favorites to cook and eat because it’s so hearty and comforting. Plus, have you heard of someone named Paula Deen? When a cuisine has that much butter involved, you know it’s good.
I dream of traveling to New Orleans to eat piping hot beignets, to walk the French Quarter, see live jazz bands and eat big vats of gumbo–one of my super-faves. Or having saucy, super-tender BBQ in Texas. And fried chicken and okra and ooey gooey macaroni and cheese and Mississippi Mud Pies and and and…
And Goo-Goo Cluster.
Have you heard of them?
They’re candies made with caramel, marshmallows, peanuts and chocolate and they’re awesome. Simple and delicious–what more can you ask for?
I actually had my first Goo-Goo Cluster from the Dollar Store. Sometimes, our Dollar Store has some interesting candies and I picked it up one day eager to try it. I wasn’t disappointed, but I was inspired to create something with this to be all culturey and stuff.
Enter Goo-Goo Cluster Brownie Bites. These are the most culturey thing on this blog, people. Brownie bites filled with Rolo’s and topped with a gooey marshmallow & peanut mixture that’s coated in a chocolate shell. Yeah, can’t get more cultural than that.
1 pkg snack size brownie mix, plus ingredients on back of box
About 16 Rolos, unwrapped
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup peanuts
3 squares milk chocolate almond bark
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease 16 cavities in a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, prepare brownie mix per instructions. Portion the batter evenly among the greased cavities. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean. Cool for about 5 minutes, then gently push a Rolo candy into the top of each brownie cup. Allow the cups to cool 15 or so mins in the pan before carefully removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt together the butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 1-2 minutes. The marshmallows should not be completely melted. Immediately stir in the peanuts.
4. Working quickly, top each brownie cup with a heaping Tablespoon of marshmallow topping. Repeat process until all brownie bites are topped with filling. Pop the covered bites in the freezer for 5-10 mins.
5. Melt the candy bark according to package directions. Dip each coated brownie bite into the chocolate mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Repeat with remaining brownie bites until all have been dipped.
6. Brownie bites will keep, stored airtight at room temperature, for 2-3 days.
I love the sweetness from the marshmallow and brownies but the saltiness from the caramel and peanuts. No wonder it’s a Southern favorite–they’re freaking awesome. However, in bite-sized brownie form? They’re freaking dangerous.
Have a wonderful rest of your week!!