Holiday Gift Ideas: Santa Hat Brownies

This  cute photo was posted on my facebook page, but there was no photo credit.  If I track that down I’ll add it.   And here is the original link.  Thanks Daisy, these are incredibly cute!  Everyone, head over there to see her original recipe.   The recipe I cobbled together is below:

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Okay, I’m just winging it here people. You can just use a box mix if you don’t want to make brownies from scratch. I suggest adding 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips to any box mix to up the quality. If you make the recipe as written, let me know how it turns out for you.

Santa Hat Brownies

  • Pan of Gooey Chocolate Walnut Brownies, cooled completely (recipe below)
  • 30 strawberries, washed, hulled with tops cut off to make flat, hat shape
  • Whipping cream (I’d use a Ready Whip style – real cream in a spray can – or you can whip up your own)
  • About 1-1/2 inch circle cookie cutter

Cut 30 circles (or as many as you can get out of the pan). Add whipped cream, strawberry – cut-side down, and a small dollop of whipped cream on top

I would use the Chinese Take-Out containers for gift giving to keep them intact.  Or take them on a platter to the office or a party to wow everyone. And I’d use the leftover brownie pieces as ice cream topping. You can freeze pieces in an airtight container for later use (no more than a week or so, or else they’ll be stale).

Gooey Chocolate Walnut Brownies0074759961274_500X500

  • 3 sticks plus 2 tbsps butter
  • 12 ounces 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

13×9 baking dish, greased

large mixing bowl, double boiler*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter and 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips together in double boiler (*I use a metal dish over a large saucepan, works great). In mixing bowl beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool a little, then add to the egg and sugar mixture and beat well. Fold in the flour and salt. Then stir in the nuts and semisweet chocolate chips. Beat by hand to combine then scrape and pour the brownie mixture into baking dish. Bake for 25 t0 35 minutes. You want the top to be a paler brown, slightly cracked even, and the center gooey, not runny. They’ll continue to cook after you take them out, so don’t let them dry out in the oven. Check continuously from the 25 minute mark until the desired consistency. Makes 24 to 30 depending on how big you want them to be. They are quite rich, so you may want to go with the 30 cut.

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Thursday Night Before Christmas Menu: Christmas Morning Edition

I’ve decided this will be our traditional Thursday Night before Christmas Menu. One quick note,  if you haven’t seen it, JeffW has a great shot our blog mascot and his hero here.

From 2009:

This is my traditional Christmas morning breakfast. These are simple to make and taste so good.   And of course I’ve included a recipe for Santa’s cookies, ‘cause you know the better the cookies, the better the presents he leaves you, so you don’t want to be leaving any store-bought cookies.  On the board tonight:

  1. German Pancakes
  2. Walnut Syrup
  3. Sliced Peaches
  4. Santa Cookies

German Pancakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup butter

2 oven proof skillets, large mixing bowl & 2 large plates

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Place skillets in oven and heat.

You’ll need to cook these in two batches. Mix all ingredients together except butter, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Batter will be lumpy. Do not over mix.

Melt 2 tbsp of butter in each skillet, swirling around sides. Ladle ¼ of batter into each skillet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to two large plates, cut into each in half and serve. Top with syrup or powdered sugar.

Cook remaining batter. Add 2 tbsp of butter to pans, swirl, split remaining batter, bake for 15-20 minutes while everyone chows down on first batch.   Serve with walnut syrup or powdered sugar and sliced peaches.  Serves 4

Walnut Syrup

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

saucepan

Heat sugars, syrup and water to low boil. Reduce heat, simmer until thickened, 10-12 minutes. Stir in butter & nuts. Great over ice cream, too

Santa Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cup flour
  • colored sugars or colored frosting

mixing bowl &  baking sheets

Cream butter & sugar with electric mixer. Add sugar, baking powder, salt and mix well. Beat in egg, vanilla and 1 cup flour. At this point you’ll probably have to hand mix the last 1 ¼ cups of flour. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Divide dough in half. Refrigerate ½, roll out other half to ¼- ½ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, bake at 325 degrees for 7-8 minutes (don’t over cook). Decorate with colored sugars immediately or with frosting after they’ve cooled. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes 36 cookies…enough for Santa and all the reindeer.

Shopping List

  • Peaches
  • 5 cups flour
  • 9 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 sticks (1-1/2 cups) + butter
  • 2 oz light corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • colored frostings and sugars, other cookie decorations as desired

Also: baking powder, salt, vanilla