You Are What I Bake For You: Ms. Claus

Folks, it’s the most wonderful time of the year–we’re hustling and bustling about getting decorations up. Presents purchased and wrapped. We’re cooking holiday feasts and baking holiday treats. Especially treats for the big guy up north. You know who I’m talking about: the Santa Claus. Sometimes kids are even nice enough to make a little something for the reindeer. But, who are we kidding? First, we all know that those reindeer are lady deer. And, behind every good man is an even better woman–Ms. Claus. So why don’t we give this lady credit where credit is due? We all know Ms. Claus is getting the short end of the North Pole, if you know what I mean. And, most people don’t even know her first name! (It’s Sandra. Sandy for short.)

This year, I think you should bake up a batch of Double Chocolate Mint Brownies, put a good dozen in a to-go container with a note saying, “Dear Santa, Here’s a little something for your lady back home. We know it’s not easy staying home year after year with those rowdy elves. Love, Me P.S. I’ve been extra good this year!”

Double Chocolate Mint Brownies are the perfect thing for Ms. Claus because they’re so rich, they’re absolutely sinful. (Something a wife needs after being on the nice list all year.) Ms. Claus doesn’t mess around with her desserts, either. Do you think she batted an eye when Hostess stopped it’s HoHo conveyor belts? Nope, because she knows a good dessert when she sees one. These brownies are moist with the iconic delicate flaky top. They’re chock-full of chunks of chocolate and thanks to Andes Mint Baking Chips, they have just the right amount of zing that keeps the spirit alive up there in the frozen tundra.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Double Chocolate Mint Brownies (You may want to make 2 batches!)

Double Chocolate Mint Brownies (Adapted from a brownie recipe found somewhere on the Internet–oops and sorry for not having the original link!)

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: brownies are all about the inclusions, so don’t get scroogey with the chocolate chips and Andes Mint Baking Chips!

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Chocolate chips to taste (I prefer semi-sweet or even darker)

1 package Andes Mint Baking Chips

It’s all about the inclusions.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Melt butter and chopped chocolate in a double boiler. (This is where I do what I want. I fill a sauce pan with water, put a stainless steel bowl with my chocolate and butter over it. I’ve also filled a frying pan with water and put a sauce pan with the chocolate and butter into that. Do what you can. No fancy equipment is needed.) Stir the chocolate and butter until it’s melted and smooth. Mmmmm!

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

Whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl and then pour in the chocolate mixture until well combined.

Whisk in the flour mixture. Then add the mint baking chips. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. I like to cover the edges of the pan with strips of aluminum foil that hang 1-2″ over the batter so my edges don’t dry out. It’s up to you–just make sure you give Ms. Claus good center pieces if your edges are too hard.

Bake until top is shiny and set and sides have begun to pull away. This is about 35 minutes and will make the most decadent fudgy brownies.

You know the drill: let them cool and cut up into portions you find reasonable. Ms. Claus will surely approve.

Enjoy!

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