Christmas Cookie Countdown, Day 19, brought to you by my 7-year-old

We interrupt our regularly scheduled cookie to bring you Jasper’s Brown Sugar Peppermint Brownies.

Brown Sugar Peppermint Brownies, ready for the oven

Jasper is seven years old. He loves math, science, video games, soccer, piano, and baking. This year he made five loaves of potato bread and a batch of chocolate truffles for his teachers for Christmas. Tonight, after supper, he asked if he could  bake brownies.

Jasper’s favourite brownie recipe is from Abby Dodge, in her book the Weekend Baker. He decided to mix things up a bit by substituting brown sugar, because “brown sugar just tastes so yummy.” And he decided to make them more festive by sprinkling candy cane pieces on top of the batter before baking.

Also, he omitted the chocolate chunks I always stir in. We have a difference of opinion about them. He is more of a brownie purist.

I’ve posted my version of the recipe before. You can find it here. I leave it up to you to figure out how to incorporate Jasper’s modifications.

Brown Sugar Peppermint BrowniesJasper loves to bake, but I think his favourite part is licking the bowl. I know when I was his age that was my main motivation.Licking the Bowl

Post-Apocalyptic, Post-Halloween, Comfort Food Post

Now that all the excess Halloween candy has been safely consumed by my students and co-workers, hurricane Sandy has come and gone, and spared my East-coast family her wrath, and we have braved two (two!) ice storms and two (two!) snow storms here in Southern Alberta, it’s time for some comfort food, the kind of thing I’m inclined to whip up when I have half an hour to spare and I need to be in the kitchen, because being in the kitchen relaxes me.

And because I’m primarily a baker, comfort food usually means bread, or chocolate chip cookies, or, perhaps my favourite of all, Abby Dodge’s Prescription Strength Fudge Brownies, from the Weekend Baker. This is my go to recipe. It’s made with cocoa powder instead of chocolate, which gives them a richer, deeper chocolate flavor, and a wonderful chewy texture.

Here is Abby’s recipe, with my modifications:

  • 6 oz. butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • ¬†1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Tahitian vanilla (technically any vanilla will do, but I love pairing Tahitian with chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup M&M’s
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Line an 8×8 inch pan with foil. You don’t need to bother greasing it. Brownies have a lot of fat in them. They will not stick.
  3. Melt the butter. Stir in the cocoa powder, then the sugar and salt.
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until just blended.
  5. Stir in the flour, followed by the chocolate chips.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the M&M’s on top.
  7. Bake until the center is no longer liquid, but still moist. This takes exactly 35 minutes in my oven.
  8. Let cool completely before lifting the brownies out of the pan by the foil, slicing, and eating them.
  9. Write to Abby and tell her how much you love her brownies.