Tag Archives: holiday

Evergreen Brownies

Holiday party season is fast approaching and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll take any excuse to get creative in the kitchen, but Christmas themed baking really gets me going. Sometimes I go overboard around the holidays and spend more time slaving in the kitchen than catching up with friends and family, so I decided it was time for a treat that screams Christmas without kidnapping me for 3 hours. For these tannenbaum brownies, you’ll need:

  • one batch of your favourite brownies, baked in an 8 inch round pan. I used this recipe here, and skipped the icing. They turned out moist and delicious! A mix works just as well if you’re feeling lazy.
  • 1/2 cup green candy melts (or white chocolate and green food dye)
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles or decorations (my snowflake sprinkles are from bulk barn)
  • 8 small yellow candies like Smarties or Misty Mints

When your brownies are cool, cut them like you would a pie into 8 equal slices. Feel free to make more skinny minny slices if you want.

Put your candy melts into a ziploc bag, and microwave them on high for 30 second bursts until they are melted. Be careful not to overdo it, or you’ll scorch the chocolate.¬†Between each blast, squish them around in the bag to help the melting process.

Lay your brownies out on waxed paper (or something) to avoid mess, and snip a tiny corner off of your ziploc bag. One by one (trust me, I tried to do them as a batch and the chocolate cooled too fast) drizzle your candy melts back and forth across each tree. To get the best results, hold the bag about 6 inches above the brownie, and move quickly. Sprinkle (or strategically place for optimum beauteousness) your decorations right away so they stick before the chocolate cools. Add a yellow “star” to the top of the tree with a dab of extra chocolate. Now, and only now, can you move onto your next brownie. Repeat this process until you’re all done.

If you want to get really spiffy, you can cut yellow stars out of fondant, or pipe them all fancy-like with royal icing, but hey, this recipe is supposed to be about simplicity.

These will keep in an airtight container for a few days, but I can’t imagine that they will last that long. With all this extra time on your hands, you can rock around the Christmas tree and chug eggnog like you’ve been meaning to all year.

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Filed under a party, holidays, super simple

Loafing Around

Being a passionate Canadian, it pains me to admit that I am slightly jealous of the bounty and fanfare that come with American Thanksgiving. These adorable miniature pumpkin loaves are the perfect table favour to take this already incredible celebration to the next level. Impress your guests with a pint-sized portion of major fall flavour that they can take home to savour with their leftover turkey sandwiches. This recipe makes 10 mini loaves. You’ll need:

  • 10 miniature ceramic loaf pans (I found mine at Michael’s on sale for 99 cents. Shop around for a deal) Here’s one site that sells a variety http://flourmillkids.com/Search.aspx?m=35830
  • 3 cups¬†flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pkg butterscotch pudding mix (non-instant)
  • 1 1/2 cups softened butter
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 lg eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together your milk, vanilla and pudding mix. In a third bowl, cream your butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and pumpkin pie filling once the butter mixture becomes light and fluffy. Alternating between the milk and pumpkin mixtures, slowly add your wet ingredients to the dry in 3 parts. Once everything is combined, fold in your nuts.
Spray your loaf pans with cooking spray, and divide your batter evenly between the pans. It should reach about 2/3 of the way up the edges. Bake for roughly 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, and a toothpick comes out clean.
This loaf is incredibly moist, and contains all of the warm spice of the holiday season. If you can’t find mini pans, or would prefer to serve this as a full-sized loaf, increase the cooking time to roughly 1 hour.
To make your guests feel extra special, dress up your loaves as table favours with a little seasonal flare. Happy baking everyone, and happy thanksgiving to my friends south of the border!

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Filed under cake, holidays