For obvious and not-obvious reasons, I haven’t exactly felt the magic of Christmas this year. The holidays are kind of a pain in the backside anyway, which is an awful thing to say when you’ve got an almost-eight-year-old eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival, and hoping that in spite of the fact that Mama currently has no job, he’ll still get decent presents. I’ve been baking up a storm lately, and these Holiday Brownies are just the latest in a long line of winterish desserts.
And in all honesty, the only real reason I made these (aside from the fact that it’s been ages since I’ve made brownies), was to have a holiday dessert of some sort hanging around the house. Most bloggers have their Christmas/holiday cookie round-ups already published, and I’m just not feeling it this year.
I’m also not feeling like faking it till I make it–Which is usually what I do each year, so that the bambino doesn’t get infected with my cynicism and holiday BLAH too early. I actually hope he retains his cheerful optimism and doesn’t become a jaded, sarcastically bitter adult like I have. And if not, Holiday Brownies are something cheerful. You could leave a plate of these out for Santa–A welcome change from the typical frosted sugar cookies.
The nice thing about these brownies is that you can very easily customize them. Change the sprinkles for the holiday. Blue snowflakes for a winter theme. Hearts for Valentine’s Day. Shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day. You get the idea.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, so that there's at least a 2-inch overhang on each side. Spray with cooking spray.
Place the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water). Stir gently until melted and combined. Remove and cool for 5 minutes.
Add the sugar, and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Stir in the coffee extract, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour, and mix only until there are no more streaks of white.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 23-27 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle of the pan comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for one hour.
Combine the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a small bowl or measuring cup. Microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval. Once the chocolate has melted and is smooth, spread over the top of the brownies. Add the Christmas sprinkles, and allow the brownies to finish cooling and the glaze to set up, another 1-2 hours.