and showcases multiple genres. Many of the acts have a strong focus on Southern music and, since we had ventured south of the Mason-Dixon line for the weekend, we decided to join in the festivities!
Known by the locals as SMF, all events take place in downtown Savannah in venues that are well-known, historic, or intimate, like the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum where we saw the Red Stick Ramblers perform.
Behind Scarbrough House
and through the serene garden
is a fantastic outdoor venue,
perfect for a Cajun dance party! Red Stick Ramblers blend traditional Cajun music with Western swing, blues, and jazz for an energetic performance that left even those still in their seats with their toes tapping.
Among the eclectic group of artists scheduled to perform during the festival were well-known headliners, innovative soloists, and some masters of their craft. In fact, on our first night in town, we saw an act billed as the Masters of Bluegrass.
Making significant individual contributions to bluegrass for more than fifty years, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, Bobby Osborne, Del McCoury, and Jerry McCoury came together to delight the audience at the Trustees Theater.
And, lucky for me, the Trustees Theater just happens to be next door to Leopold’s,
an ice cream shop that always has a line out the door! (With good reason!) Founded in 1919, the shop still retains its old-fashioned look and feel
and continues to make homemade ice cream one batch at a time. Handsdown, the chocolate ice cream at Leopold’s is the best I’ve ever eaten.
So with a whole year to go until next year’s festival — the 25th! — I wanted to bake something that would remind me of the chocolate ice cream at Leopold’s and the experience of seeing Bobby Osborne perform his hit and Tennessee state song, “Rocky Top”…Rocky Road Brownies!
- 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
- 3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds (Note: Sea salt flavored almonds used in this post)
- Caramel sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with foil; coat foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat melted butter, sugars, and egg on low speed until combined. Add vanilla and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in dry ingredients until just combined. (Batter will be thick.)
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Transfer batter to foil-lined baking dish. Bake until set, approximately 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 3/4 cup marshmallows, and 1/2 cup almonds. Bake another 4 minutes to soften marshmallows and chocolate chips.
- Remove from oven. Drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired, and cool in baking dish.
DISTANCE TRAVELED FROM PHILADELPHIA TO SAVANNAH: 637 miles