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The Perfect Holiday Gift: Brownies in a Jar

The Perfect Holiday Gift: Brownies in a Jar // FoodNouveau.com

Every year, I plan and make an edible present that I give to my clients and friends who live out of town. This tradition started three years ago, a year after I decided to become freelance again. I was so grateful for the clients who had decided to trust me that I felt like I needed to say thank you in something other than words. Given that macarons are what launched Food Nouveau (which I started around the same time as my freelance career), they seemed like the perfect choice. I made a big batch of the dainty Parisian cookie and couriered the precious boxes to my (very happy) clients.

That first year set the bar pretty high, so the second year, I decided to bake a selection of my favorite cookies, and I reinvented the lineup for the third year and shared the recipes during last December’s Cookie Week. This yearly tradition became an opportunity for me to satisfy my love for crafts (which I don’t often get to indulge), as well as to create and assemble a different packaging and holiday card every year to ship the sweets.

The Perfect Holiday Gift: Brownies in a Jar // FoodNouveau.com

This year, because I was over eight months pregnant at the beginning of December, I didn’t see myself baking for hours on end, so I decided to hop on the “in a jar” bandwagon to gift what may very well be my favorite dessert: brownies. I used the proportions provided in Ricardo Magazine and personalized the recipe to my liking (adding pecans and butterscotch chips along the way). I also made an incredibly delightful butterscotch sauce to be drizzled on top of the brownies—for extra decadence—and provided more toppings to make the dessert gift- and holiday-worthy.

The Perfect Holiday Gift: Brownies in a Jar // FoodNouveau.com

The Perfect Holiday Gift: Brownies in a Jar // FoodNouveau.com

The Perfect Holiday Gift: Brownies in a Jar // FoodNouveau.com

The Perfect Holiday Gift: Brownies in a Jar // FoodNouveau.com

I’m incredibly happy with the results. Not only does the gift look impressive, but the baked result is out of this world! The brownies could not be easier to make: simply dump all the dry ingredients in a large bowl; add water, oil, and eggs; mix; and bake. Kids will happily make them, if you feel like delegating. Simply watch them assemble the dessert and enjoy the results! How’s that for a holiday treat?

Here are the materials I used to make my brownies in a jar:

I tied the simplified assembly instructions to the jar containing the dry ingredients, but I also decided to include the full recipe (inserted in the card), in case the recipients want to make the brownies again, which I’m sure they will!

The Perfect Holiday Gift: Brownies in a Jar // FoodNouveau.com

You can easily customize this easy recipe to use your favorite garnishes instead of the pecan-caramel combination: white chocolate and macadamia nuts, dried cherries or cranberries, walnuts, milk chocolate, and toffee bits would all be fantastic. The best thing about this homemade gift is that it is super quick to put together, especially if you make them assembly line-style, but it makes a really big impression. It’s perfect for everyone on your list, including teachers, daycare workers, or anyone who deserves a little something special this holiday season.

Chocolate, Pecan and Caramel Brownies // FoodNouveau.com

Chocolate, Pecan and Caramel Brownies

Makes 16 brownies

For the brownies
¾ cup [180 ml] unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp [1.25 ml] salt
1/3 cup [80 ml] cocoa powder
¾ cup [180 ml] brown sugar, packed
½ cup [125 ml] sugar

½ cup [125 ml] water
½ cup [125 ml] canola oil
2 eggs

½ cup [125 ml] dark chocolate chips
¼ cup [60 ml] chopped pecans
¼ cup [60 ml] butterscotch chips

For the topping
¼ cup [60 ml] chopped pecans
¼ cup [60 ml] butterscotch chips

To serve (optional)
Butterscotch sauce
Edible glitter stars

Preheat the oven to 325°F [165°C]. Butter an 8-inch [20-cm] square baking dish and line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients (flour to sugar). Add the water, canola oil and eggs and mix with a whisk until the mixture is smooth (it comes together quite quickly). Fold in the dark chocolate chips, ¼ cup [60 ml] chopped pecans, and ¼ cup [60 ml] caramel chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining pecans and caramel chips on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs stuck to it. Let cool completely.

To serve, drizzle some butterscotch sauce and sprinkle edible stars over the brownies. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Recipe Credit: Inspired by a recipe by Ricardo Magazine.

Download this recipe in PDF format - Food Nouveau

Chocolate, Pecan and Caramel Brownies // FoodNouveau.com

Simplified assembly instructions for the dry ingredients gift jar (print on a small label and tie to the jar):

To make the brownies

Preheat the oven to 325°F [165°C]. Butter an 8-in square baking dish and line with parchment paper. Pour the contents of this jar in a large mixing bowl. Add ½ cup water, ½ cup canola oil and 2 eggs and whisk until the mixture comes together. Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining pecans and caramel chips. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs stuck to it. Let cool. To serve, drizzle butterscotch sauce and sprinkle edible stars over the brownies. Cut in squares and enjoy!

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3 Responses to The Perfect Holiday Gift: Brownies in a Jar

  1. At De Marque, our colleague Nicolas baked the brownies and shared them with the team during our annual Christmas potluck, where we have all the staff and their kids for lunch (and a visit from Santa) at the office. Thanks Marie, this was awesome!

  2. […] ou des petits plus sous le sapin. Cette année, je ferai la recette de brownies en pot du blogue Foodnouveau.com ainsi que mon beurre de […]

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