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‘Tis the season…to bake and bake and bake! I love to share the holiday with friends, family and the firemen of course! I bake for them twice a month but this month there is an extra special meeting! The hubby is retiring – again – and the new fire chief is coming over from Washington state to meet the men in advance of his taking over in January. I figured I’d make some holiday themed treats and then pack some up for him to take home to his family. I had the perfect containers for the job – Rubbermaid TakeAlongs! I love the Quik Clik Seal™ because I know everything will stay put once I put on the lid. They are available in several different sizes from deep squares, rectangles, serving bowls and there is even a Rubbermaid TakeAlong egg keeper!
I decided on brownies and blondies because who doesn’t love these classic desserts? I took basic recipes and added a touch of the holidays by making Candy Cane Brownies and Pecan Pie Blondies. To make them easy to eat I made them in mini cupcake pans.
Candy Cane Brownies
Makes 36 mini brownies
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
10 candy canes or 30 starlight mints crushed to make 1 cup of candy crumbs
This recipe let’s me do one of my favorite things – beat up on a bag o’something. heh It’s the best way to break up the candy canes!
Preheat oven to 350°
Prepare mini cupcake pan by inserting mini cupcake liners and spraying with cooking spray.
Add melted butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add cocoa powder and mix until all lumps are gone.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick and smooth.
Add in the sugar and mix until well incorporated.
Add in the flour and candy cane pieces and mix until just combined.
Using a small scoop drop batter into cupcake liners – about 3/4s full.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until the center is just set.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Pecan Pie Blondies
Makes 72 mini blondies
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Topping:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
2 TBS honey
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350°
Prepare mini cupcake tins by lining and then spraying the liners with cooking spray.
Melt the butter over medium heat. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside
In a stand mixer with the paddle attached mix the two sugars and the melted butter.
Add the eggs and beat on med-high until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.
Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Add about half of a small scoop to each cupcake liner.
Bake for 12 minutes and remove from the oven.
While the base is baking make the topping.
Melt the butter.
Whisk the eggs and the sugar together.
Add the melted butter and whisk to combine.
Add the dark corn syrup, honey, vanilla and salt and whisk until well combined.
At the 12 minute mark remove the base from the oven.
Add a walnut or pecan piece to the top.
I don’t know yet what the firemen think of these little treats but I taste tested them. Mostly because the first TWO recipes failed before I finally got them right so there was a lot o’baking going on in the yurt. Just goes to show that even experienced bakers can have serious fails in the kitchen. I will note that neither myself nor the hubby minded eating the mistakes.
I also have another fantastic use for Rubbermaid TakeAlongs! I am a romantic married to a pragmatic. I keep doing romantic things hoping for similar in return and he is always looking for the pragmatic from me. Opposites attract they say – isn’t this the nature of most relationships? Somehow considering we have been together for 35 years and we are still wishing for what we don’t receive I suspect we will continue along in the same way. *sigh*
In my continuing efforts to be romantic I like to send (or leave if I’m the one going away) a little something of myself when we are going to be parted. I call it my Packable I Miss You Box. It’s very easy to put together and eminently customizable to your situation. I can pack it in his suitcase if he is the one leaving or I can leave it under his pillow if I am the one heading out the door. Either way he has a little something from me for every day we are apart.
The steps to make it are easy:
- Grab a rectangular or deep square Rubbermaid TakeAlong
- Decorate it anyway you would like – I will be the first to admit that I am no artist!
- Grab as many envelopes as days you will be away and number them
- Gather your notes and gifties. I like to include a reminder of the goats because they make him laugh. His favorite chocolate, a love note and for longer trips I’d find other things to make him smile.
- Seal the envelopes and put them in the Rubbermaid TakeAlong.
- Close up the Rubbermaid TakeAlong and you are ready to pack it!
Are you ready to go get some Rubbermaid TakeAlongs? They are available in festive holiday prints and colors to help make your holiday treat giving special. You can find them at Walmart and you can take advantage of an offer from Ibotta exclusively for Walmart shoppers – $1 off any 2 Rubbermaid TakeAlongs. I always love when I get a great product and can save money at the same time. I’ve been using Rubbermaid TakeAlongs for a while now and I really love their convenience – they are safe to go in the microwave, dishwasher and freezer. When I have enough milk and can make ice cream I store it in one. I was hoping to be able to send some in to the firemen this week but Louise’s milk production has just really dropped. No more ice cream until next Spring.
I hope you are inspired to try some fun and easy holiday baking. Rubbermaid TakeAlongs make it easy to gift your creations. Head over to Walmart and grab some and get baking!