Here we are, the final count down. Christmas morning is just hours away and I can’t help but feel that this year is going to be extra special. Not because of the gifts or because of the ridiculous amount of thought I have put into our “new traditions”, more so because it’s me and Drew and our first real Christmas together… it’s me and him and… ok I will stop before I get all gooey on you. Let’s just say I think he is the TBT and I can not wait to spend Christmas with him, that’s all there is to it.
While plotting for the holiday season, I read some where that one of the best ways to spread holiday cheer and make friends is to get your neighbors a little something, nothing major, but a gesture of goodwill. As I thought over possible gift options it seemed only natural that it of course be food based. Given that I am the queen of allergies I wanted to make something low risk, so any thing with a copious amounts of nuts was out, as well as gluten, soy, and dairy. Snack mixes are a little 1995 and a tray of assorted cookies was going to take too much time, so what to do? Chocolate is always a good option, who doesn’t like chocolate!? If any of my neighbors don’t like chocolate we don’t need to be on speaking terms as far as I’m concerned.
So I did some thinking… white and dark chocolate covered carmel corn, far too time intensive… Flour-less chocolate cake, which is to die for but requires nine eggs which is asinine. Puppy Chow, while I consider this particular snack mix exempt from the over played varieties it is peanut butter based and there for negated as a valid option. Finally, after much deliberation I decided upon dark chocolate mint brownies, which one would think there is a relatively standard recipe for, I discovered this was not the case. And being who I am, I opted to invent a version of my own.
Dark Chocolate Mint Brownies
What you will need:
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
1 4oz bar of Ghirardelli 60% cocoa baking chocolate
1 3oz bar of Theo Dark Chocolate Mint, 1 bar in tact, the rest broken into small pieces.
1.5-2 Sticks of Butter
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tsp Vanilla
2 TBSP Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Gluten Free Baking Mix (I used Bobs Red Mill)
Dash of Sea Salt
In a double boiler melt your butter, almond milk, Ghirardelli chocolate, and 1 piece of the Theo Mint Chocolate, watch closely and stir continually so that the Chocolate doesn’t burn. Once it has reached a smooth velvety consistency remove from the heat. Add in your vanilla, cocoa powder, and baking soda, stirring gently, the mixture will cool slightly as you stir. Fold in your eggs, making sure they are blended well. Finally add in the flour and salt, stir until smooth.
Pour the batter into a pre-greased 9×13 or 9X9 inch pan. Sprinkle with the bits of Theo Mint Chocolate. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick, when it comes out clean they are done baking.
As I cleaned the dishes the kitchen began to fill with the scent of chocolate and mint. Christmas lights glowed around the windows and I basked in the warm scent of christmas.
Now on to the hard, part giving them away. If it were up to me I would sit on the sofa with a spoon and a carton of ice cream and devour half the tray in one sitting. Thankfully my conscience would ridicule me for eating a gift meant for other people, not to mention consuming several thousand calories all at once. Ah well, it’s for the better.
Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night (real original sign off right? I thought so).