Adrienne and I were on the same wavelength this year- enough with the cookies, let’s have some brownies! Check out Adrienne’s “I heart NY” patterned white chocolate chip brownies and guest post for this year’s holiday cookie swap!
For the past several years, I have been making, freezing, storing, and sending baked goods to my family members for Christmas. I have two dads, seven siblings, and nine nieces and nephews on my side alone and have a large family on my husband’s side. Who has time to shop?! I barely have time to bake, but I spread it out over several months and take the time to store everything well. Nothing says “Happy Christmas! Have a moldy brownie!” (Though it has happened when I trusted my package in the care of a family member to deliver…)
This year, I was all about brownies. I have made several varieties, though my ‘go-to’ recipe is from “The Joy of Cooking.” I love how it’s made on the stovetop, and I have memorized the recipe because it’s so easy. As long as you have baking chocolate, everything else should be in your stock on a regular basis. And I have made so many varieties of brownies from this recipe, that you can please everyone.
This is a simple variation, where I replaced the nuts with white chocolate morsels. Then I used the rest of the bag to decorate the top. I had been seeing this fabric with graffiti ‘I Heart NY’ writing on it, and was inspired. I am not much of a decorator, so my designs are always non-complex.
First I melt 4 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate and 8 ounces of butter in a large pot, and then let it cool while doing something else, like prepping the rest of the ingredients, or cutting out snowflakes. It usually takes about a half an hour or so. I tend to use the Ghirardelli chocolate and it comes in a 4-ounce package, 8 ounces of butter is one stick; no measuring required!
Lining the pan with foil will make it easy to lift out the brownies once they have cooled which in turn helps with cutting it into squares, especially the corners. I like to turn the pan over and place the foil over the bottom to get the correct shape, instead of trying to cram the foil into the pan, possibly tearing it.
Once it’s lined, grease it.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the chocolate and butter has cooled, stir in 2 cups of sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
Then add 4 large eggs and stir until combined. Then stir in 1 cup of flour and 1 cup ‘variety’: walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, chocolate chips, crushed oreo cookies, mint chocolate candy, etc. Pretty much anything works.
I love the ease of this recipe; the measurements are foolproof!
Pour brownie mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 23-28 minutes, though my oven needed 10 minutes more. Once you make these brownies, you’ll know how long your particular oven will need.
Once the brownies were done and cooled, I took a ruler and measured out 1 inch lines across and lightly pressed the edge into the brownie to give myself guide lines to ‘write.’
I melted the rest of the white chocolate morsels and used a sandwich bag with a corner cut off to pipe on the words. Then with a warm knife, cut into bars.
When storing in the freezer, the best thing to do it wrap the entire uncut brownie in plastic wrap. Then wrap it in foil, and place in a freezer proof ziplock bag. I will even suck out all the air in the bag and seal it airtight. When I need to split the brownies up, I do the same thing, just in smaller portions.
Brownies are perfect for freezing, shipping and storing. They look pretty in a gift box, they tend to not fall apart too much in the shipping process and they can be stored in the freezer for awhile. Have fun making a Beautiful Brownie Box, filling it with different brownie types so that everyone can have their favorite.