This week I’ve had a week off, so I went home to spend some time with my family, unwind and get the rest and relaxation I thoroughly needed!
My mum always gets super excited about Christmas well before I do, and she’s actually been speaking about it for weeks already. Too much right? 😛 But being at home with my mum and dad, I actually started feeling festive and my sister reminded me that it’s now less than 6 weeks until the day! How quick is time going?
As cooking and baking is really therapeutic for me (I LOVE it!), I decided I’d give one of my festive creations a whirl so that my family could be the first to taste test my invention. I have to say, they did go down well! (Apart from with my dad who couldn’t get over the fact that they had potato in!)
I even put on my new Christmas jumper (from boohoo) to help with the festive feeling. It’s super cosy (perfect for the cold), and definitely got me feeling christmassy.
Not only were my brownies so cute (I was so proud of the design – a collaboration between me and my mum, as I made the pretzels look more like bear ears to start with), so they’d look fab served at any get together this Christmas, they were really yummy too. Not quite as sweet as a usual brownie, as they are healthier, but they were moist and spongey, and paired with the toppings, were delicious!
So here’s how to make them:
Ingredients (serves 12):
- 250g sweet potato
- 200g self-raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 100g butter, cubed
- 100ml semi-skimmed milk
- 100g dark chocolate chips
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 small ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
- 25g flaked almonds
- 12 pretzels (perhaps a few more to allow for breakages)
- 1/2 bag of giant white chocolate buttons
- 12 peanut m&ms (preferably red, but green look awesome too!)
Method (to make the brownie):
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Finely grate the sweet potato (including the skin) and put to the side.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder. Combine well.
- In saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Remove form the heat and stir in the milk, eggs and mashed banana, stir continuously. Add the grated sweet potato and dark chocolate chips and continue to stir.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the sweet potato mixture a bit at a time, stirring to combine. Once everything is combined, you should have a thick, sticky, dough.
- Pour into a lined rectangular dish, leaving enough space for the brownie to rise a little. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out almost clean.
- Leave to cool.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut 12 circles out of your brownie, keeping them very close together to reduce waste.
- Take the pretzels, and cut in half to form 2 identical halves. Turn upside down and suck into the to of your brownie to look like antlers.
- Put 12 giant white chocolate buttons to the side. With the remainder, melt down (in a bowl over a saucepan or very carefully in the microwave) to a paste, just runny enough to use as a glue.
- Use the melted white chocolate to stick the buttons onto your brownie, and then the peanut M&M on top, to form the nose.
- Serve on a Christmas napkin, or arranged on a festive dish.
And there you have it, a super cute festive bake.
If you don’t eat nuts, you could always switch out the flaked almonds for dried cranberries or cherries, and swap the peanut M&Ms for smarties.
I hope you enjoy! What’s our favourite festive bake?
*Boohoo challenged me to create a festive bake for the upcoming Christmas season, providing me with a Christmas jumper to get the festive feeling flowing. Recipe my own – all views my own.