Whenever I go to friends and family for the holidays I like to bring a homemade food gift, something the host/hostess can prepare at their leisure. In past years I have brought cookie and brownie mixes in a quart Mason jar, festively wrapped.
This year I thought, “Who needs another Mason jar?” That question lead me to “Who couldn’t use a nice, new baking pan?” The answer was, “Nobody.” So this year I created a new brownie recipe specifically for a 9-inch-square baking pan. As you know, baking pans come in all materials and price ranges, from the disposable aluminum, single-use pan, to ceramic pans in a variety of colors, to steel, aluminum, anodized and nonstick.
The pan I chose is a brand called Il Mulino and the company makes a wide variety of culinary items from stovetop espresso pots to saucepans to baking pans. This one is a particularly nice sturdy pan and I left the label on.
I packed it with three holiday patterned plastic self-sealing bags. One labeled “Brownie Mix,” a second labeled “GF Crème de Menthe chips,” and a third, “GF chocolate chips.”
Then I printed out and provided the following recipe (before wrapping the package in tissue in a holiday gift bag).
- To make Brownies in a Pan, you will need:
- 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- Bag of Brownie Mix
- Bag of crème de menthe chips
- Bag of chocolate chips
- In a 3-quart bowl, add butter and beat with a hand held mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add brownie mix from large bag and beat on low until completely mixed.
- Then stir in the bag of either crème de menthe chips or chocolate chips.
- Spray the 9-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the brownie batter into the pan, filling all four corners and leveling the top.
- Bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven, place pan on a wire rack, cool to room temperature.
- Cut 5 by 4 for 20 brownies.
To freeze, place cut brownies in a self-sealing plastic bag between layers of parchment paper. If you want to make the mix yourself, measure out 1 cup each of crème de menthe and chocolate chips and place them in labeled separate small plastic self-sealing bags. Then sift together (it's important to sift to make sure the cocoa doesn't clump) the following ingredients: 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup cocoa (not Dutch process) 1 cup Simple Gluten Free Flour or gluten-free flour of choice with xanthan gum in the mix (preferably Bob's Red Mill 1 for 1 Gluten Free Flour) 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add any unsifted brown sugar left in the strainer into the mix and stir well to mix. Place the mix in a large self-sealing plastic bag and label: "Brownie Mix." If you want to double the fun, then bake a batch of brownies to go with the pan and mixes! You can never have too much chocolate during the holidays.
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