Christmas and holiday baking or all kinds of treats and deserts such as sugar cookies, brownies, Christmas cakes and the like is in full swing this time of the year.
A friend of mine and I were joking about the term brownie points the other day.
We all know what brownie points are, right?
Well, that begs the question “What is a ‘point’?”
A point could be the end of an arrow. A point could also be simply a ‘dot’ like a decimal point in $22.52, or the dot about the ‘i’.
Christmas Brownie Points
If a ‘point’ is taken to be a ‘dot’, then how do brownie points relate to Christmas Brownies which are usually cut in squares or rectangle shapes?
What if instead of squares or rectangles, you baked Christmas Brownies in small circles?
Think that cutting the cooked brownies in the pan into circles would cause a lot of mess and waste? Sure it could; then don’t.
Instead why not use the same packaged (or from scratch) fudge brownie mix to instead make Christmas Brownie cupcakes! Cupcakes are circular, right? So are ‘points’.
Making Christmas Brownies
Here’s my twist to the standard packaged brownie mix baking instructions which turns them into Christmas Brownie Points. It is incredibly easy so you can even get the kids involved as I did to help make them.
1. Buy your favourite packaged brownie mix on sale. I like the Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge brownie mix. It is easy to get them on sale because around Christmas time brownies are not thought of as a traditional Christmas snack or desert. I purchased two of these 450g boxes for $1.39 each, around 50% the regular price, at Metro a week or two ago.
2. Gather all of the items you need, including the cupcake trays, paper cupcake ‘molds’, and of course special ingredients! Can you spot the special ingredients used for Dan’s Christmas Brownie Points?
3. Follow the instructions on the back to mix all the ingredients. This Duncan Hines fudge brownie mix called for simply adding 1 large egg (beat the egg first), a 1/4 cup of water and a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.
4. Next add the first of the two special ingredients into the mixed batter; lemon juice. Yes, that’s right, about a table spoon or two or three of lemon juice, depending on how much lemon flavour you want in your Christmas Brownie Points desert!
5. After placing the cupcake paper molds in the cupcake trays, use a table spoon to place the batter into each paper cupcake mold (whew, that is a lot of using the work ‘cupcake’ in a single sentence). Since they will rise a bit, I find filling each paper cupcake mole only about 4/10′ths high. And, since fudge brownies are filling, you really don’t want a regular sized fudge brownie as that would be way too filling.
For me, this mix used 15 paper cupcake molds.
6. Lastly, place a liberal amount of the sprinkles on top of the batter within each of the paper cupcake molds. Personally, I like green sprinkles but of course you can use any festive colours you like in your sprinkles.
Now, this is very important. The backing instructions on the package assume you will be placing the batter into a square backing dish. So, this traditional way of backing brownies calls for them to be cooked for anywhere between 25 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees. DO NOT DO THIS as you will overcook your Christmas Brownie Points!
Instead, still at 350 degrees, I bake then for only 20 minutes. At that point I take them out of the oven and let them sit still in the pan for about 5 minutes. See how in the picture below taken at the 20 minute mark with the cupcake tray still in the oven they have risen from about 40% of the paper mold to about 75% of the paper cupcake mold?
It is at that point that I take them out and place them in the container.
How do they taste? I have to admit incredible moist and yummy!
And there you have it. Try a new Christmas baking idea and see how it turns out for you!
Hhhmmmmm …. Yum!
And, if you share them with someone you will be both giving to them and receiving from them … well do I really have to say it …. brownie points!
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