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How are you doing with your Christmas shopping so far? Do you have most of your gifts together or are you just getting started?
We are taking things really easy this season. Heading to the crowded malls and stores just isn’t much fun with a 5-months-old. Online shopping is coming to the rescue and a number of our gifts will be homemade this year.
Homemade gifts are also a great way to save some money this season. And in my opinion homemade gifts are the best way to assure the recipient they are coming from the heart.
Instead of just flashing your credit card, your are actually spending time making the gift. Usually you are also going to be thinking about the person the gift is going to.
I made these Gingerbread Brownie Bites with my sister in mind. I know that she loves fudgy brownies – especially the two bite kind that gives you a corner piece experience with every bite. When she visited us recently I also learnt that she loves all things gingerbread. These little treats combine both of those loves!
I mentioned avoiding to hit the stores with Olivia in this busy season, but actually she was a total champ, when we went to Walmart to pick up all the items needed to create this gift basket for my sister. The crinkly empty paper bag I let her play with might have had something to do with her contentment.
For these seasonally flavored brownies, I adapted my usual fudgy brownie recipe. I switched half of the white sugar to brown sugar. There is a generous sering of rich molasses and a good helping of gingerbread spice mix.
I love to use BAKER’S Unsweetened Chocolate for really intense chocolaty brownies. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, you can add all the other ingredients to the same saucepan and just stir them together by hand. This makes for a super quick one bowl – no mixer recipe!
For no-mess filling I use a cookie scoop to transfer the batter into the mini muffin pan cavities. If you grease the pan really well, after baking you can simply invert it and all the brownie bites should just pop out.
To give these fudgy two-bite brownies a special touch, I dusted the tops with a mixture of cocoa powder and gingerbread spice.
This concludes only the first part of homemade gift basket. To go with the sweet little treats I added a can of MAXWELL HOUSE coffee. Because there is nothing better to balance the rich, chocolaty brownies than a hot cup of smooth coffee.
In my opinion the best part of the gift basket is the mason jar of brownie mix. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. Once the brownie bites are all gobbled up, there is a mix ready to bake another batch. And the included recipe card invites to keep baking these gingerbread brownies for years to come.
To make a pretty layered brownie mix in a jar you need a mason jar that holds about 1 quart (1.1 L). Fill it with the dry ingredients from the recipe below: white sugar, brown sugar, salt, flour, gingerbread spice and on top BAKER’S Unsweetened Chocolate. Placing the chocolate chunks in a large muffin liner allows to lift them out easily for melting, before adding the remaining ingredients.
Adding the sugars towards the bottom will keep them from drying out and clumping too much. Use a funnel or spoon the flour in carefully. Wipe the inside of the jar after adding the flour to keep a clear view of the next layers. Now you just need a pretty ribbon and the instructions on a recipe card.
If you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website. It has recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What’s not to love? If you’re looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!
- 4 ounces Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown or demerara sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons gingerbread spice
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon gingerbread spice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a mini muffin pan.
- In a large saucepan melt unsweetened chocolate and butter on medium. Take off heat and stir in the remaining ingredients until smooth and combined.
- Scoop batter into prepared mini muffin pan; about 1 tablespoon per cavity. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Tops should be just set.
- If you greased the pan well, you should be able to just invert the brownie bites onto a cooling rack. Regrease the pan and repeat with remaining batter.
- Place all brownie bites on a wire rack. Combine cocoa powder and gingerbread spice and use a little strainer to dust the tops.