These cute little things came about a few months back and the idea or recipe had to come out now fit for the perfect time of the year when the cute hats will suit perfectly and make Santa such a happy man!
how to brown the butter for this brownie?
Browning butter is not hard, it is a fairly quick process and you should just do this once you started as its a very fine line between brown and burnt butter, so do not leave the stove unattended.
Using a light-coloured pan will be of great advantage to see the butter colour and decide when done.
- Place a pan over medium heat.
- Keep stirring the butter - it is important to keep it moving all the time. Once it has melted, it will begin to foam mainly around the edges.
- Continue to stir for about 7 minutes until the butter turns golden brown in colour. The milk solids turn brown and oh, the smell - deliciously nutty, toasty, buttery smell.
- This is the point the butter needs removing from the heat and ideally is to pour it into another heatproof pan or bowl to stop it from cooking any further. This is a very important step as this is the point where the butter will turn to burnt point. This is it! Brown butter done! It is a really nice addition to this brownie giving it a really nice nutty flavour.
Get kids in the kitchen
I am a real fan of this idea.
Kids really made me laugh saying that Santa “looked after them” with presents for so many years and now it is their turn to return the rewards Ho Ho Ho haha. They are so right, Santa did a great job for many years.
We were trying all sorts this summer within the efforts of mastering the brownie recipe and these emerged out of my daughter’s imagination. Nicole is very artistic and such a good hand in the kitchen. Andrei also really loves spending time in the kitchen lately, really keen and enthusiastic to help.
He started to cook and baking all sorts in school and he greatly enjoys it. I must say I’m very proud of his both cooking and baking skills as everything he’s made so far was great with no failings so far. He always brings everything home for us to try and give him a verdict on the outcome. How sweet is that?! In fact, the brownie in this recipe was 90% made by him.
I do enjoy having the kids around the kitchen helping or doing things and what I like the most is that they’re very good at what they do and have a lot of kitchen sense and skills somehow.
Great stuff so, get your young ones to help with this recipe - it’s those precious and such special and wonderful Christmas times they will never forget.
Making Christmas a magical family time that kids will cherish forever.
Of course, you could use already made brownies either previously baked or go the naughty way with using shop-bought ones to save time and you will have those ready in a fraction of the time.
• This recipe makes anything between 16-20 pieces depending on how you cut them. Try and cut them as neatly as you can and as next to one another as possible so you make the most of them with not much “waste”. No excuses for early brownie munching on the premise that you cut them badly!! Do a neat job please
• With the leftovers you could make another dessert with cream fruits and brownie crumbs (if any left)
• Depending on what shape you use or want to cut those into, I would recommend you chop the nuts slightly smaller to put inside the brownies and the more rough ones sprinkle on top so when you cut your little hats base you don’t get it messed up by a big chunky nut getting on the way spoiling its shape.
The top ones you can see and work around those. This is called experience. However, if you are using just a simple round cutter this will not matter so much.
• The Baileys thick Irish cream you could buy ready-made or make it yourself by simply mixing 2-3 tbsp Baileys into 200ml cream and 40g or more of sifted icing cane sugar. It is simply delicious. Take my word for it.
• For the children I make a separate batch and I add rum essence instead of Bailey’s cream since this is a boozy (adult) option even though it is not much of it.
My kids really love the rum flavour and aroma but also vanilla or a boola-boola cream (cream, sugar and freshly squeezed lemon) will do an absolutely fab job.
Let’s get these hats ready and make Santa a super happy bunny!
Santa’s strawberry and brownie hats
- ovenproof dish
- hand mixer
For the brownie:
- 190 g cane sugar
- 120 g brown butter melted
- 75 g raw cacao powder
- 50 g flour
- 30 g dry cranberries
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp heaped creme fraiche
- 1 tsp Vanilla or rum essence
For the hats:
- 16-20 strawberries
- 200 g Irish Cream Baileys thick cream *
- Prepare and grease an oven tray or an ovenproof dish (I used a 28cm round glass one). Grease it and preheat the oven to 150°C if fan assisted and 170°C if it is not.
- Melt the brown butter or brown it now if you don’t have any and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla and cacao powder, and the salt. Mix these slightly while dry and then add the butter slowly whisking gently.
- Add the eggs which should be at room temperature, one by one and beating in between. Beat this for a minute or two.
- Add the flour gently and incorporate this in nicely, then add the nuts (roughly chopped and toasted) and stir them in a little more equally spread them within the mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared oven dish and bake for 20 mins. The mixture should be around 1 cm thick.
- While the brownie bakes, start preparing the strawberries by washing and slice the top from each strawberry to leave a flat base.
- When the brownie is ready, take out of the oven and if you used parchment paper you can take the brownie out on a wire rack for it to cool faster. If no parchment was used just allow it to cool in the actual dish. It is important that you allow it to cool before starting to cut into it.
- When brownie has cooled, using a cookie cutter, can be any desired shape, (I used a flower shape with 6 petals) begin to cut your little Santa hats base. Place the cut ones on a plate. It can be the actual serving plate.
- Using a piping bag with a small nozzle, pipe a dot of the thick cream into the centre of each cooled brownie and top with a strawberry. Pipe around the base of each strawberry few more dots and finish with a small dot of cream on the pointed top to make a tiny cute little bobble for Santa’s hat.
- Serve and enjoy these attractive little cuties!?