If you decide to create edible gifts for the holidays (either to save money or add a personal flair), get the kids in the kitchen and make some memories! If you don't have kids at home, get your friends together instead and have a "bake night" and "sweet swap". Taste testing is always encouraged - whether over some coffee or a freshly opened bottle of wine (FYI, a nice Malbec or Sangiovese is a great brownie accompaniment - thanks ENOFYLZ Wine Blog!). These activities make holiday food preparation more practical, fun and meaningful. Of course, if you are working with a common allergen like nuts, peanuts or wheat, make sure your guests are aware and can take adequate steps to stay safe!
When wrapping your goodies (including any of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats you try), look at the choices you have!! For cookies, I like either good ol' paper bags or "grind your own coffee" bags. For larger batches of baked goodies, pans of brownies and biscuits (like Walnut Gougères!), or cookies that are delicate (i.e. shortbreads), there are tons of places willing to help you out with decorative, practical storage and shipping options. Near me, a place called Creative Bag Co. Ltd. has hooked me up in the past with both the stereotypical "Chinese take-out boxes" (which, FYI, I have never received Chinese take out in!) and some other "bakery" boxes. Fancier boxes are available at a couple online retailers. Bulk food retailers and dollar stores are other good places to look for a deal around this time!
This is what the CWC says about these (obviously) fudgy, dense, delectably nutty bars:
Guaranteed to please any sweet tooth, this gluten-free brownie recipe packs a nutritious punch in every tasty bite. The addition of dates and quinoa flour add to the fudgy texture, while significantly raising the bar for a scrumptious treat that’s full of goodness. Freeze for easy storage; once thawed, store these brownies in air-tight containers to keep them tasting fresh!
Fudgy Walnut Brownies (Gluten-Free)
10 dates, pitted
1 ½ tbsp hot coffee
3.5 oz 70% chocolate (I used Green & Black's)
3 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp quinoa flour
¾ cup California walnut pieces, divided
2 tbsp chocolate chips or icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
- In the food processor, blend dates and coffee into a smooth paste.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together, then process into the date paste.
- Add the egg and process until fully incorporated.
- Add cocoa powder, quinoa flour and ¼ cup of the walnuts and mix in until smooth and the nuts are ground.
- Add the remaining walnuts and pulse just to chop them.
- Spread into prepared pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips (if using).
- Place immediately into the freezer for 30 minutes, then move to the fridge and chill overnight.
- If using icing sugar, sift sugar over the top of the brownies using your favourite holiday stencil.
Total Fat: 15.2 g
Cholesterol: 27.7 mg
Sodium: 39.3 mg
Total Carbs: 14.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
Protein: 3.3 g