Christmas Tree Brownies

Posted on December 2, 2020

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This year is different. You don’t need me to tell you that.

Although today’s amazing vaccine news means there’s a glimmer of hope for normality by the Spring, there will still be no popping around to the neighbours for sherry and a mince pie or Christmas Eve office fuddles. So with everyone’s new lockdown baking abilities, it’s the year to put up your fairy lights obscenely early and cook yourself whatever you bloody well fancy.

Most of the time I fancy a chocolate brownie.

I reserve my more complicated New Favourite Brownies for special occasions. (A batch of which were recently posted to George, to distract him from first-term, lockdown blues in Sheffield) But this simpler version still offers you the gooey centred chocolatiness required of a brownie, plus they look proper Christmassy too.

No whipping or fancy gadgets are required here, as they are mostly just butter, sugar and chocolate, melted and stirred together.  If you make them in a round cake tin instead of a square brownie pan they are moments away from becoming Christmas trees with a squirt of icing and some shiny balls. You could even stick in a chocolate tree trunk if you feel the need.

These brownies keep well in a tin in a cool place for up to 5 days.

Ha ha ha ha! (you will eat them in 2)

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Ingredients

150g Dark Chocolate (chopped) or use half milk, half plain chocolate if preferred
190g Butter (cubed)
50g Cocoa
50g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
270g Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
50g Chocolate Chips

For Decoration

Icing Sugar or Royal Icing Sugar
Food Colouring
Silver balls and stars

Method

Grease and line an 8” or 9” loose-bottomed tin and preheat the oven to 175ºC

Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot (not boiling) water and allow to gradually melt, stirring occasionally

In a large bowl sift together the cocoa, baking powder and flour then stir in the sugar

In a small bowl whisk the 3 eggs with a fork until combined

When the chocolate and butter is melted, remove from the heat and pour into the dry mix and beat until smooth with a wooden spoon

Beat in the eggs and stir in the chocolate chips

Pour into your prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until there is ‘almost’ no wobble in the middle when you give it a gentle jiggle

Leave to cool in the tin

For the neatest edges remove from the tin and freeze for 20 minutes before you cut into 8 equal slices

Mix your icing sugar with a little water and food colouring and pipe tinselly patterns onto your trees and stud with silver balls and stars

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This recipe was photographed for the Center Parcs Blog in 2019.