Tea today is in front of the fireplace with one of my very favorite Santas. My daughter bought him years ago. My mini tree is decorated with tiny cooking utensils. Care to join me for some Eggnogg'n tea (thanks, Lynn!) and some brownies?
Isn't this baking Santa adorable? I love his flour sack, cookies, pitcher and wooden spoon. Of course his jingle bell nose is the cutest! Although I certainly admire all the pretty, natural decorations in blogland, I LOVE getting out my olden decor....it's like seeing old friends!!
This Santa was made by my son, Mike, when he was in 10th grade. He did the painting and I did the sewing. I love him!
These brownies are perfect if you like fudgy flavor and chewy texture. The recipe comes from King Arthur Flour and they're intensely flavored.
I'm going to serve the brownies with some peppermint ice cream and hot fudge sauce for Christmas Eve and top them with some crushed peppermint candy from my peppermint pig from bloggy buddy, Lynn at Happier than a Pig in Mud. The grandkids will have fun cracking the pig with a hammer! The pig is a symbol of good health, happiness and prosperity. The recipe for the sauce can be found here and it's a family favorite! Here's the brownie recipe:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups Dutch process cocoa or Double-Dutch process (I used regular cocoa)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 cups chocolate chips
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan
2) Crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.
3) In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Or simply combine the butter and sugar, and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted. Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
4) Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.
5) Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.
6) Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.
7) Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.
I am sharing with these lovely parties: