Monday, December 16, 2013


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'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:


  1. Lovin' that bell nose Kitty and the Santa that Mike made is really cute too! Enjoy the tea and I hope the kids have fun with the pig, thanks for the shout-out:@)

  2. You are brave to haul out the boxes! True it is that they are filled with treasures of a bygone time. I enjoyed seeing yours! That brownie recipe sounds beyond yummy! What a great way to serve it, too.

  3. Hi Kitty
    I love the baking themed decor, perfect for how I think of you. I think my DH might like your brownies and the cute pig from Lynn looks delicious. Take pictures when you serve the brownies, grandchildren sugar rush! LOL

  4. Dear Kitty,
    I love that you decorate with old friends. LOL. I always keep all the decorations and use them every year. May be not all, but most of them. Childrens love that, too. Its part of the Christmas miracle. Your treats looks yery tempting. Thank you for sharing this nice tea time. I wish you a happy Christmas time.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  5. I wouldn't hesitate a second to sit down near the fireplace for tea & brownies! I find that King Arthur Flour has some really great recipes. I'll have to give them a try.

  6. Hi Kitty, I just love the Santa's and the little Christmas tree and the Santa you and your son made! The brownies look so good and I love brownies! Take care. Julie

  7. Your Santa wearing his cooking garb is really cute and perfect for you, Kitty. The little tree with all the utensils is really adorable too. You're right, our decorations are like old friends. I have many that I would never part with as there are so many wonderful memories attached to them. Your brownies look delicious; love brownies. How I would love to sit and have some tea with you, my dear friend. Thank you for coming to tea and have a lovely and joyous week.

    Christmas blessings,

  8. Oh Kitty, you have created a ovely tea time The Santa has so much appear with the kitchen accessories. Your kitchen ornaments on the little tree are perfect with the Santa. The brownies look delicious and ice cream will be a wonderfully tasty treat! Have a Merry Christmas and hope to visit after New Years!


  9. What a darling idea to trim the tree with kitchen ornaments! It is precious!
    I know exactly what you mean about all our treasured items evoking memories of the past & the people who gave them to us. We used to buy one Christmas ornament on each trip we took & we truly get to relive all those wonderful vacations every year.
    Your brownies look yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  10. How cute! And the brownies look so yummy. Merry Christmas, Kitty!...Christine

  11. Everything is lovely. Brownies look great and I'm soo in love with your special Santas! That peppermint pig is really something too. Such a nice post. May you and yours enjoy a blessed Christmas season Dear Friend. XO

  12. Yummy in my tummy!! I never say no to brownies :) And your decor is so cute! I received your sweet Christmas card/picture today - you have such a beautiful family! Thank you for thinking of me, sweet friend!

    Much love to you!

  13. How darling your little kitchen Santa is beside the little tree decorated with kitchen utensils! Your home-made Santa created by you and your son is a precious memory. Thank you for the recipe - I can practically taste them - and the little peppermint piggy is so sweet. Hugs xo Karen

  14. Your little santa is adorable with his cookies and wooden spoon, great kitchen helper. What a memory to have a little santa that you both worked on and then to take it out each year and re-live the memory. Your brownies look yummy, I saw the pig and wonder if it is white chocolate and peppermint sticks? Merry Christmas

  15. Your Santas are adorable! I think decorations should be old and full of memories, that's the best kind! I gained a pound just thinking about those brownies with peppermint ice cream and hot fudge sauce!

  16. What an adorable Santa. Love it all...pass me a brownie please. :)

  17. What cute Christmas decorations, and even more special since they are from family members and serve as traditions each year! Just adorable!

    Merry Christmas!


  18. Both Santas are adorable...and that tree with the baking utensils is fabulous!

  19. It's just so adorable that you still have and cherish that homemade Santa!!! It's really a standout!!! My son once made me a...well, I'm not really sure what it is. Anyway, it looks just like a pile of poo, but I cherish it with all my heart. It has a prominent place in my office alongside another unidentifiable piece he custom-created just for me some 30 years ago. :-)

    I love your other Santa, too with his jingle bell nose. Fun, and he's perfect for you, Miss Kitchen Queen!!!

  20. Adorable Santas Kitty and your tree with the mini kitchen utensils is too cute! Brownies with some peppermint ice cream and hot fudge sauce sound delicious!

  21. Such special Santas, Kitty! I know you really treasure the one that Mike painted. I think that I am going to have to stop reading your blog - every recipe is one that I want to make and eat - yikes!!!! Love reading each and every one.
    Merry Christmas, Kitty, to you and your family - I will be thinking of all of you next week...

  22. So cute! I am loving your adorable Santas....looks like a fun baking party! I love fudgy, chewy brownies and yours look absolutely yum! Thanks for the recipe! Merry Christmas! Hugs, Poppy

  23. Lovely snack setting, and those Santas are great.

  24. Kitty,
    ADORABLE are your santas, dear friend!!!
    I love that they have "heartstrings" attached. . .special meanings!
    Thank you for sharing with all of us!!!

  25. Hi Kitty,
    I just love your precious little Santa's and the Brownies will be perfect with that cup of tea in front of the fire today when it is so cold outdoors. I have had you in my thoughts several times lately and hope that your Christmas is filled with the love of family and friends. Thanks so much for your friendship and sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Miz Helen

  26. That baking Santa is so cute, as well as the one ds made. Lots of memories! I would PIG out on those brownies! :)
    Thanks for linking to Let's Dish!


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