Merry Christmas! I hope that you all are in the midst of a wonderful and joyous holiday season!
Our Christmas was the most exciting one I've ever had. As we were opening the presents with the baby on Christmas morning, my perception started to seem like a movie home video montage. It struck me, as I unwrapped bath toys and blocks and a huge stuffed Curious George, that we were actually parents. Over the past 8 weeks, I've felt like a mom (sort of). We've done the baby things - feeding, changing diapers, feeding, giving baths, feeding, napping, feeding, soothing in the middle of the night, feeding, reading stories, feeding, having tummy time and oh yeah, feeding. But parents - other people are parents. My parents are parents. That was some holy grail of having a baby, working together as a unit for the enjoyment of a child, not just to keep them alive with their basic needs met. Parents. And now, after this Christmas morning experience, after this unified effort to bring joy and happiness to our child, I think we qualify.
If you're a harried parent - or even if you're not - and you're looking for an easy but impressive looking holiday dessert to take to that New Years Eve party, these brownies are a great choice. If you can't find Hershey's peppermint kisses, crushed candy canes will do.
(from Real Simple)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces white chocolate pieces or chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (like canola oil)
2/3 cup chopped peppermint Hershey's kisses (about 20-25)
Time and temperature: 350 for 30-35 minutes
Preheat your oven and butter an 8x8" baking pan. Line the pan with foil or parchment paper and butter the foil. Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Melt the semisweet chocolate and the butter together in a microwave in 30 second bursts, or over a double boiler, until they are combined and smooth. Whisk into this mixture the sugar, eggs and vanilla, stirring well between each addition. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, stirring until just combined. Spread in the prepared pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan. Once the brownies are cool, melt together the white chocolate and canola oil and stir until smooth. Pour this over the brownies and sprinkle with the peppermint pieces. Allow to set until the chocolate is hardened, about 2 hours. Lift the brownies out by the foil or parchment, and cut with a sharp knife.