Peppermint Brownies, Triple Ginger Cookies and Chocolate Caramel Pecan ClustersPosted:
Adapted from Nick Malgieri
Yields: 2 dozen
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1⁄4" pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup flour
¾ cup crushed candy canes
Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan with butter and line with parchment paper; grease paper. Set pan aside.
Pour enough water into a 4-quart saucepan that it reaches a depth of 1". Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Combine butter and chocolate in a medium bowl; set bowl over saucepan. Cook, stirring, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
Whisk together eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt; whisk to combine. Stir in chocolate mixture; fold in flour.
Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle crushed candy canes evenly over the top of the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30–35 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Cut and serve.
Triple Ginger Cookies
Adapted from Dede Wilson
Yields: 40 cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup light (mild-flavored) molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh peeled ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup (about) sugar
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, crystallized ginger, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in brown sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, molasses, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat to blend. Add flour mixture, beating on low speed just to blend.
Place 1/3 cup sugar in small bowl. Measure 1 tablespoon dough. Roll into ball between palms of hands, then roll in sugar in bowl to coat; place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough, spacing cookies 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until surfaces crack and cookies are firm around edges but still slightly soft in center, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on sheets on rack. DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made up to 4 days ahead. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.
Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
1 ½ cups pecan halves
24 soft caramel-candy cubes
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on); set aside 72 pecans on baking sheet.
When pecans are cool enough to handle, make 24 clusters by arranging 2 pecans vertically, side by side, below 1 pecan placed horizontally. Gently flatten each caramel; place 1 on top of each cluster. Bake clusters 5 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on).
Place 1 piece of chocolate on top of each cluster. Return to oven; bake until chocolate begins to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven. With the back of a spoon, gently spread chocolate over caramel without completely covering it.
Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature before serving.