Monday, March 31, 2014

Cracker Jack Brownie Recipe from Rachel Ray - Feedback

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."
by Jack Norworth (1908)


A piece of Baseball Game Brownie

Yesterday was the 2014 Baseball Season Opening Day! For the occasion, I am coming to share a brownie recipe with Cracker Jack. Last year I was watching Rachael Ray around the baseball opening season and her guest (Katie Lees) came to the show to share a brownie recipe especially  for baseball games. The ingredients of the recipe seemed so interesting and out of the ordinary that I had to try it. What would you say to chocolate, pretzels, peanuts and Cracker Jack! The opening day was few days away and we were invited to the opening home game day party of the Rockies which was a perfect to make this brownie. I have made this recipe several times and came with some recommendations (mentioned at the end of this page).

 The Recipe

Serving: 16

- 1 box brownie mix (such as Ghirardelli Double Chocolate)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup caramel popcorn (such as Cracker Jack)    
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pretzel sticks
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped lightly salted peanuts


1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Grease a small square baking dish (9 by 9) with cooking spray. 
2. In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, egg, oil and water, and stir until well-blended. Gently stir in caramel popcorn, pretzels and peanuts. 
Pretzels, Peanuts and Cracker Jack

3. Spread evenly into greased pan.
Ready to go in the oven

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack completely before cutting into squares.

Out of the Oven

  • What do I think about this recipe?

1. Do not follow the instructions on the back on the package and stick with the one from the recipe. Otherwise your batter with be extremely stiff.

2. Use the double chocolate brownie mix from Ghirardelli. The mix comes out nice and moist and the extra chocolate is a great addition to the recipe. I tried another brand and it did not work as well. It was more on the dry side.  

3. Cut the pretzel sticks ¼ in. long by hands. It might seemed time consuming but you only have a ½ cup to go throw. It will take you only few minutes. It is worth it. It will fit better into the batter and provide a more interesting texture. The pretzels do not get most a little during the baking process. They still stay hard. Having very small pieces will help cutting the brownie into pieces and eating it. It is not pleasant to have a bite of brownie with long pretzel sticks to chew on considering that you also have peanuts and caramel popcorn.  I tried with the food processor and it gave me more trouble than helping me. The sticks were still too long and after 2 or 3 more pulse it was into crumbs.

4. Incorporate the pretzels, peanuts and cracker Jack as indicated in the recipe at the end. Mixing all the ingredients might appeared a bit stiff and fell very dense. It will make you wonder about the texture of the brownie once done but it will come out just fine. It will not be a brick.

5. The brownie is soft and moist with a real taste of chocolate at the first bite with a bit of crunch. You will get some texture with the some pieces of pretzels and peanuts. However, the caramel flavor of the Cracker Jack is gone and the popcorn fells very soft. It is disappointing to your palette. Because you know how the Cracker Jack taste on its own, you want it to fell the same way in the recipe but it does not work. 

6. Suggestions: To get that Cracker Jack taste and texture, which is a symbol of a baseball game, I would make some chocolate and/or caramel icing and sprinkle some quartered Cracker Jack. I have not try it yet but if you do before me let me know what you know what you think and if you have additional suggestion. Another option would be Cracker Jack cookies. I have not heard, see or taste any but I am sure that there is a recipe out there

Enjoy The Baseball Season!


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