Classic brownies with a Nordic touch

Lingonberries add a Scandinavian swirl to these bittersweet chocolate brownies

Photo: Daytona Strong Sweet-tart lingonberry adds complexity to these delicious brownies.

Photo: Daytona Strong
Sweet-tart lingonberry adds complexity to these delicious brownies.

Daytona Strong
Norwegian American Weekly

I always keep a large tub of lingonberry preserves in my fridge. Tart in that way that all Norwegians know well, I serve it in traditional manners such as with waffles, but I also like to experiment with new ways to use it. I recently discovered how well lingonbery pairs with chocolate. It’s reminiscent of the classic combination of raspberry and chocolate, but the sweet-tart lingonberry has an extra complexity that I particularly love.

I added lingonberry preserves to a batch of brownies for my book club recently and loved the results. The base for these is adapted from the bittersweet brownies with salted peanut butter frosting in Date Night In by Ashley Rodriguez. Ashley gives her brownies an extra-special touch by using browned butter. The butter starts out smelling sweet and rich and creamy, then as it goes on it smells of caramel or toffee studded with nuts. Bubbling and sizzling butter is always the promise of something good, right? Then add lingonberry and you’re set.

Photo: Daytona Strong

Photo: Daytona Strong

Lingonberry Swirl Brownies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (or 1/2 cup chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder (optional)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lingonberry preserves

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare an 8-inch spare pan by lining it with parchment paper so the paper hangs over the edges, then grease the parchment.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and keep cooking until the butter browns, 3 to 5 minutes. You should be able the see milk solids start to form and turn golden.

Pour the butter into a heatproof mixing bowl and add the chopped chocolate or the chips and allow to sit for a minute so the chocolate melts. Give it a stir, then whisk in the sugar and vanilla. When it’s smooth, add the eggs, salt, and espresso powder, and continue to stir until smooth.

Sift the cocoa powder and flour into the batter, then fold just until the ingredients are incorporated.

Pour into the pan, then spoon dollops of the lingonberry preserves over the surface. Run a knife through the preserves to swirl them into the top of the brownie batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the brownie portion (not into the lingonberry) comes out mostly clean. The original recipe called for 25 to 30 minutes, but the preserves will add extra baking time to the process.

Serves 8 to 10.

Daytona Strong is a Seattle-based food writer and recipe developer. She writes about her family’s Scandinavian heritage through the lens of food at www.outside-oslo.com. Find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/OutsideOslo; Twitter @daytonastrong; Pinterest @daytonastrong; and Instagram @daytonastrong.

This article originally appeared in the Aug. 28, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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