Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Carols & Candy Cane Crumbles

Ah the holidays are upon us. I have Christmas music blaring from all speakers of my house, car, and office and am burning down my multiple pine scented candles to the bare bottom. My kettle is brimming with Christmas teas and my fridge busting with Christmas brew. But amidst the poinsettia laden playground in my house, is a more prominent tradition…making sweet, after sweet, after sweet. Christmas cookies, candies, and cakes are swarming my recipe box. This is the way I like to spread my Christmas cheer!

As I believe I mentioned before, fate brought a couple of gluten free, Greek neighbors when we moved. Crazy right? Myrsini has been helping me brush up on my Greek and I am helping her map through America’s maze of gluten free recipes, blogs, and books. We planned to meet last weekend to go Christmas shopping for her house and decorate with all the bulbs and baubles of the holiday. A couple stops and bursting shopping bags later we arrived back at her house armed with holiday gear. Since it was a Friday afternoon, we were setting up Christmas d├ęcor, and my 7 year old was feigning for weekend sugar, we knew we had to make some sort of treat. Bonus of a gluten free Greek neighbor? A ready made gluten free brownie mix to play with together.

While I trimmed the tree, my neighbor Myrsini and my son Mitch got to working on the brownies. It would be my first foray with Pamela’s gluten free brownie mix and I was eager to taste test! They decided that they were going to make mini brownie cupcakes, a concoction that was formed in Mitch’s brain and concurred with Myrsini’s direction in the kitchen. The highlight was the two trying to figure out why the dough looked dry…they skipped the oil and water part of the directions. No worries, the blonde saved the day!

Topping the Tree with our neighbor!

After much hand mixing, throwing of dough, dotting each other’s noses, and much taste testing, we patted the mix into Winnie the pooh baking cups, and let them rest peacefully in the oven.

I have never put brownie mix into baking cups but i have to admit it was one of the best/least messy gluten free baking experiences I have ever had. Well, at least the time in the oven…I suppose I cannot discount the before and after bouts of hilarity.

Case in point, Pamela’s brownie mix was deliciously delivered in muffin cups. Some mixes can get gritty but I have always had success with Pamela's mixes. The brownies were crammed with sweet chocolate taste, and had the perfect dense and moist texture. Baking them in individual cups made them easy to serve and kept me from devouring half the pan (it's bad to do that right? right?) It didn't stop me from licking the bowl though. And spoon. And dough off my nose. Sshh don't tell Santa.

I think I will be recreating them this weekend with maybe chocolate icing and candy cane crumbles…Who’s with me!?

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