Friday, December 10, 2010

The Start of the Christmas Baking

I have been back from Thanksgiving in Mexico and have been busy preparing for Christmas. While my kids have been writing their Christmas list's, I have been busy making my own Christmas dessert list. There will be brownies, cookies, marshmallows, truffles and bark to name a few. So let the baking begin.
My first Christmas dessert was a Mint Kissed Brownie. I used a delicious brownie recipe from Thomas Keller, then added my 2010 Holiday Favorite, Hershey's Mint Truffle Kisses. These brownies were ridiculously good, they tasted exactly like the Bouchon's I get at Thomas Kellers Bouchon Bakery, but minty. Here it is, the best brownie recipe EVER. 

Mint Kissed Brownies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened dutch cocoa
3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 1/2 cups chocolate  (70% Lindt Excellence or Ghiradelli Bittersweet chips) chopped into pieces
1 package Hershey's Mint Truffle Kisses

Preheat oven to 350.
set aside 9-inch square silicone mold

Sift together 3/4 cup flour, 1 cup dutch processes cocoa, 1 tsp kosher salt and set aside.

Melt 1/2 the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Put the remaining butter in a medium bowl. Pour melted butter into the medium bowl with the rest of the butter. Stir until creamy, and few lumps.

In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix together 3 eggs and 1 3/4 cup sugar on medium for about 3 minutes, until thick and creamy. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed add about one-third of the dry ingredients, then add one-third of the butter, and continue alternating the remaining flour and butter. Add 1 1/2 cups chocolate and mix to combine. (I made my batter 3 days before, but it can be refrigerated up to 1 week)

Spread the batter evenly into silicone mold. (The batter will be very thick) Press Mint Hershey Kisses into batter and spread batter to cover.

Bake 40-45 minutes, until wood skewer poked into center comes out with only a few crumbs. Cool in pan.

Cut into small squares and dust with powdered sugar.

Don't worry about the the calories and fat in this recipe, it may seem high, but you will only need a morsel to curb your sweet tooth for the entire day. (That says something coming from me :)

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