Chocolate Pecan Brownies

I had an urge for chocolate yesterday so I should at least share this recipe with you all, it’s very delicious, easy to make and something you can get the kids involved in making too, although Sophie isn’t that interested in eating it at this stage. No great loss there I say… This recipe is a bit lighter & cakey rather than stodgy as brownies often are, I am not sure whether it’s me, the oven or what, but they are yummy so I am not concerned.

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You will need

1 cup of Pecans roughly chopped

250g Butter softened

1tsp Vanilla

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

What you do

Preheat your oven to 170 degreesĀ Celsius. Cream the butter, sugars & vanilla until light & fluffy, add the eggs one at a time mixing well between each addition. Sift the flour, cocoa & baking powder and then fold into the batter, add the chopped pecans & mix well. Pour into a lined tin, I used a round 26cm spring form tin which was lined on the based & sides greased. This resulted in good sized chunks of brownies about 3-4 cm high. Not too big, not too small. Bake for 40-50 mins or until your skewer comes out clean when tested, cool in the tin and guard with your life.

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Blood Orange Candied Peel Short Bread

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Spreading a little Christmas Cheer to our kindergarten teachers, tomorrow is Zachie’s last day and I wanted to give them something to show our appreciation. What do you give someone who has cared so lovingly for your child but that you don’t really know??? Food!! šŸ˜€

These are incredibly easy to make and are very yummy!

You will need

250g soften butter

3/4 cup Icing sugar (you can use caster but you will need to mix it for a little longer,

2 cups plain flour

1/2 cup candied blood orange peel.

Cream the butter & sugar until it’s light & fluffy, add sifted plain flour carefully & mix to combine. Finely dice the peel and add to the mix. Refrigerate for 15 mins depending on how hot it is outside. Roll into little balls and press down with a fork – like yoyo’s bake in a mod oven for 10 mins or until golden, dust with icing sugar to serve.

I made our own candied peel and have used it for all sorts of things from these biscuits to the filling for cannolli. It’s very easy to make, you just cut the rind from the orange or lemon ensuring that you don’t cut a lot of the pith when you’re cutting it, then slice the rind into strips, place it in a saucepan with enough water to cover the rind & the same amount of sugar, generally 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water is a good ratio. Then bring it to the boil & simmer until the syrup has thickened DO NOT WALK AWAY!! This is like making toffee, the sugar syrup gets really hot really quickly so you need to keep an eye on it.

Both are great ideas for Christmas presents!