published Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Chattanooga Market enlists chili experts

Chattanooga Market’s annual chili cook-off will happen at First Tennessee Pavilion on Sunday. This year, it will be a sanctioned event for the first time, under the auspices of the Chili Appreciation Society International.

Melissa Siragusa, market spokeswoman, said the decision to go from a nonprofessional event to a sanctioned competition will help add more credibility to the cook-off.

“It will bring more serious competitors hoping to earn points toward the international contest,” she said.

For marketgoers, the event is all about taste. You’ll be able to sample some really good chili and even compete if you like. There will be a contest strictly for those everyday cooks who think they can make the best chili in town.

“This way, we have the serious competitors and the novices as well,” Siragusa said.

The showmanship begins when the market opens at 11 a.m. For a complete lineup of the day’s events, log onto chattanoogachilicookoff.com.

To me, there are no better comfort foods than chili and chocolate, so this is the perfect dessert to end your meal.

The recipe is from Betty Crocker. I couldn’t find the Triple Chunk brownie mix it calls for, so I used Pillsbury’s Chocolate Extreme mix, and it worked deliciously well.

I have no doubt that homemade brownies would be even better, but a store-bought mix is hard to beat if you’re in a hurry. Once you bake the brownies, you slather on a peanut butter/marshmallow creme topping, along with Reese’s Cups, chopped peanuts and melted chocolate chips.

Rocky Road Peanut Butter Brownies

1 box Betty Crocker Triple Chunk brownie mix (plus water, vegetable oil and egg as directed on box)

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon milk

20 miniature chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candies, unwrapped, chopped

1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray bottom of 8- or 9-inch pan (see note).

Make brownie mix as directed on box, using water, oil and egg. Bake 26 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely.

In medium bowl, beat marshmallow cream, peanut butter and milk with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Spread over cooled brownies. Sprinkle with chocolate peanut butter candies and peanuts.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and oil uncovered on high for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until melted. Drizzle over brownies. Let stand 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Note: The original recipe calls for making it in a 13- by 9-inch pan, but I used a 9-inch square pan because I didn’t seem to have enough brownie mix. Use your judgment. It could have been that the Betty Crocker mix makes more than the Pillsbury mix I had on hand.

Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com.

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