Ranch Brownies-Valentine's Treat

I have been making these Ranch Brownies for years! The recipe makes A LOT of brownies, so it's perfect to feed a crowd. I have also halved the recipe many times when I am planning to entertain on a smaller scale. They turn out great either way.

I love that these brownies are so versatile. The brownie base is so delicious you could eat it on its own.  Have a nut allergy? Don't add the nuts. If marshmallow isn't your thing, substitute the marshmallow for a mint frosting and dye it green for a fun St. Patrick's Day treat. You could also drizzle with caramel or serve with ice cream. Whichever way you serve it, the brownie base will be delicious.

When I was considering the perfect Valentine's treat for my family, these Ranch Brownies came right to mind.  My family loves chocolate, nuts, marshmallows and sprinkles. It's a recipe that would please everyone. Hooray for recipes that everyone loves!!!

 

Not only are these tasty but they are super easy to make. You literally just mix all the ingredients together to make the brownie batter. Then you spread it on the pan and let them bake.  I love to use dutch cocoa in this recipe to take the flavor up a notch. 

 

Once the brownies are finished baking you can choose which option you want to do for the marshmallow layer. 1) Take the brownies out of the oven and immediately sprinkle with miniature marshmallows and then put back into the oven for 5 minutes to allow the marshmallows to melt OR 2) take the brownies out of the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes and then spread marshmallow fluff over the brownies. I usually prefer to use the fluff because I think it's easier to spread.

 

Ranch brownies

As a finishing touch I frosted the brownies with a delicious chocolate frosting and had my daughter help add the sprinkles. Our finishing touch was to cut them into heart shapes. In less than an hour I made a delicious and easy treat to show some love to my family.  I wish I could say it took as long for the brownies to disappear. 

 

Ranch Brownies Recipe

Brownie Ingredients

1 c butter, softened

2 c sugar

1/3 c cocoa (I prefer to use dutch cocoa because it has a richer flavor)

4 eggs

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional but very tasty!)

 

Marshmallow Layer Ingredients

1 package of miniature marshmallows OR 1 jar marshmallow fluff

 

Chocolate Frosting

1 c butter, softened

1/3 c milk

1/3 c cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

2 2/3 c powdered sugar

dash of salt

 

Directions

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together softened butter, sugar and cocoa. Add in the eggs, vanilla, flour, salt and nuts (if adding). Spray your 11 x 17 pan with cooking spray and then spread the brownie mixture evenly on the pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. 

2. Take the brownies out of the oven and either 1) spread the miniature marshmallows all over the brownies and place them back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the marshmallows are melted OR 2) take the brownies out of the oven and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes. Then spread the marshmallow fluff all over the brownies so they are totally covered. I prefer to make the marshmallow layer very thin. You may need more or less fluff depending on how thick you want this layer to be.

3. Mix all the frosting ingredients together and mix with a stand mixer or a hand held mixer until it is light and fluffy. (This usually takes a few minutes). Once the frosting is ready spread it on the cooled brownies. Add the sprinkles and cut into heart shapes if desired.

 

These Ranch Brownies really are so easy to make and they are delicious. If you make them, take a picture and post it on Instagram #peachtreedr or leave your comments below. This is a great recipe for beginners or to make with kids. 

For another great brownie recipe check out these

 

 

Lemon Brownies

 

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