Gamecock Tailgating: Pluff Mud Brownies

By Ann Thrash

Let’s make this short and sweet: Last week’s game didn’t leave a very good taste in anybody’s mouth. In the spirit of moving in a new direction, this week’s tailgating recipe heads over to the sweet side of the table. These Pluff Mud Brownies are pure, frosted, marshmallow-fluff-filled decadence. They take their name from the thick, gooey mud that is a trademark of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s waterways.

These brownies are great to have around during the fourth quarter, either to soothe your sorrows or (let’s hope) celebrate a big finish.

Pluff Mud Brownies

For the brownies:
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (can be omitted)
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow fluff

For the frosting:
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup milk
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (can be omitted)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a jellyroll pan (about 15x10x1 inches). To make the brownies: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and the sugar, then beat in the cocoa, eggs, vanilla and flour. Stir in the nuts. Spread the mixture (it will be very thick) in the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then, while brownies are still warm, spread all the marshmallow fluff over the top. Let stand until completely cool.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the butter, cocoa, vanilla and 1/2 cup of the milk. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, beating until the frosting is thick and smooth. Add the remaining milk slowly if needed; the frosting should be thick but still spreadable. Stir in the nuts. Spread the frosting over the brownies. Cut into larger squares (about 3x3) to serve on plates, or cut smaller to eat out of hand.
Photo: Bill Thrash

Photo: Bill Thrash