Not to worry, December
will be full of pleasing, simple
desserts that will have your house
smelling festive and neighbors knocking
on your door. Just pull the ol’ “I’m asleep”
trick if neighbors knocking on your door
doesn’t appeal to you, or do what I do
and talk to yourself every time you are
outside. I don’t care how good your
kitchen smells, they won’t be knocking.
To kick things off is Gingerbread Brownies. Oh, the divine mix of chocolate and ginger is making my mouth water just talking about it. If this doesn’t put you in the spirit to celebrate, I don’t know what will. I’m taking the all-American brownie, wait, can I use all-American for brownies, or is that only reserved for apple pie? Fascinating and deep questions I pose, I know.
Anyway, we are
just putting a little
twist, adding some
spices, namely ginger,
and then topping the
more chocolate and
crystallized ginger, which leads me to
another deep thought. Ginger or Mary
Ann? While Ginger was a spicy little
number, Mary Ann was a sweet little
thing, so I guess these brownies are a
good combo of both. What a hit you will
be, bringing these to your next party. Just
wear a sexy little get-up, but throw on
your best Crocs (I’m guessing that would
be the fur-lined ones). A perfect Ginger/
Mary Ann melding. And oh-so-Boulder
to boot. I am also thinking of your health
along with the attire. Ginger is known to
calm indigestion, nausea, the common
cold and even hot flashes. Is it hot in
here? Someone please get me a piece of
ginger. The pungent, spicy, sweet mix is
great for snacking any time of day. Now
Mary Ann never had that claim to fame.
So BYOB. Bring Your Own
Brownies, that is. Come on, I’m trying to
get through this column without the
mention of a cocktail, but now that it’s
already out there, I feel it is my duty to
suggest a nice “spiked” hot chocolate with
a little cinnamon topper paired with these
chocolate gingerbread brownies. Or perhaps
a nice cup of tea. Yeah, that would
make you the other one. And I don’t
mean Mrs. Howell. Whatever you wash
it down with will be an afterthought.
These are just that good. Now follow the
directions, put some love into it and
invite me over when it’s done.
While Ginger was a spicy number, Mary Ann was a sweet little thing.
BEFORE YOU START: Make sure eggs are room temp. I used semi-sweet chocolate. Dark chocolate would be a fantastic alternative. If you like it spicy, add more ground ginger. I went more middle of the road, knowing the TV audience preferences.
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. crystallized ginger (chopped)
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x
9-inch square baking pan. Melt 1/2 cup
butter and 3/4 cup chocolate chips in
double boiler slowly over low heat. When
melted, take off heat. Add in cocoa powder
and vanilla. Mix well and set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk eggs and
brown sugar. Add in molasses. Pour
chocolate mixture into molasses mixture
and stir until well combined.
Add flour, salt, cloves and ginger into batter and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for
20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out
with just a few moist crumbs. Do not
Take out of oven, spread 1/2 cup chocolate
chips on top of brownies. Let sit at
least five to seven minutes until chocolate
starts to melt. Gently spread melted chocolate
until even over brownies.
Sprinkle chopped crystallized ginger over top. Let set and cool at least one hour.
When ready to serve, dust lightly with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. Enjoy! Note: you can find crystallized ginger in most supermarkets in the spice section