This post was originally published here on June 18, 2014. I’ve since updated the photos and text to showcase just how delicious these avocados really are!
With Memorial Day lurking right around the corner, I figured it was a good time to refresh this old recipe from 2014. Because let’s be honest, the previous photographs were pretty cringe-worthy. I certainly wouldn’t have been motivated to make these Baked Avocados with Fresh Salsa based on how they looked before. So how could I have expected you guys to want to make them?
So I gave them a little facelift. And now they look all shiny and pretty. I hope you get the urge to run right out and try them. Because I think they are the perfect recipe to help kick off the unofficial start of Summer this Memorial Day weekend!
When I first read about the idea of baked avocados (it was this post from Food Faith Fitness), I was skeptical. Wouldn’t they get all brown and weird? And who would ever want to eat a warm avocado? The whole concept seemed strange to me. But I was intrigued enough to try it out for myself. And since then, baked avocados have become a staple in my house (along with like every other recipe involving avocados = I’m obsessed).
Baking the avocados causes them to turn extra creamy and soft. And they provide the perfect little vessels for loading up with whatever fresh ingredients you have on hand (in this case, corn, tomatoes, crumbled cheese and cilantro). Any food that you can turn into an edible bowl is a major win in my book. Because boy, do I hate having extra dishes to wash!
I like to use crumbled Queso Fresco in this recipe (which is what I’ve called for in the ingredient list below). But for whatever reason, it’s an ingredient that I sometimes have a hard time finding in my grocery store. I’ve substituted crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese in the past, both with great success. So feel free to use whichever of the three cheeses you have/prefer.
These Baked Avocados with Fresh Salsa work as a party appetizer, side dish or mid-afternoon snack. Basically, they are good any time of day. Oh and don’t forget to have a bag of tortilla chips nearby. I think you’ll want them!
Earlier this week, I touched on some pretty heavy topics. And while some of those topics might come up again in the future (they certainly aren’t issues that are going away anytime soon AND I think it important to maintain an open dialog), today we’re going to keep things light and cheery. Because above all else, this is a food blog. And I think it’s important to honor that.
So let’s turn all of our attentions to these beautiful Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries.
When I decided to make this recipe, I was all like “I got this. I’m just going to whip these babies up in no time. Easy peasy.” But boy, was I wrong.
The first batch of brownies I made was so terrible that I had to THROW AWAY THE ENTIRE PAN! Like, completely in-edible. I honestly don’t know what happened. I mean, how badly can a person mess up peanut butter and chocolate that it’s so gross it becomes trash? I don’t know. I made them at 6:00 am, so I’m wondering if in my sleepy haze I completely forgot a major ingredient or something. I never really figured it out.
The second batch was good (and edible), but not great. The texture was a bit odd and I overcooked them slightly (note: those are actually the ones in the photos, so yours will probably look a little less dry when baked). But by the third time, I nailed it. I brought them to the brewery and all my friends gobbled them right up. And I even received a marriage proposal as a result of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries. Are you impressed yet?
Spoiler alert: I’m still happily single.
So here are a couple things that I learned during this process. First, I got much better results when I used a big brand name peanut butter (like Skippy or Jiff). The brownies I made with my natural peanut butter didn’t have the smooth texture I was ultimately looking for. If the idea of those big brands really turns you off and you want to use your favorite natural/organic brand of peanut butter, go right ahead. But please be aware that you’ll likely have to add in a little more salt and sugar to make up for the fact that those natural/organic brands usually contain less to start with. The second thing I noticed is that the temperature of the two layers is related to how “pretty” your swirls will come out. The brownie batter should be warm already (since it gets started on the stovetop). But if your house/kitchen is cold, you might want to microwave the peanut butter layer for a few seconds to help loosen it up.
The raspberries were a last minute addition, because it’s almost Valentine’s Day and I wanted to throw in a little bit of pink flare. If you’re one of those individuals that isn’t down with fruit in your brownies, then just skip them. You might not get a marriage proposal, but I can guarantee they will still taste amazing.
Recipe adapted from my Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies