You can even use a mix for these little trees!
Today was one of those days when your little child scampers up to you and asks, "So, what treat am I bringing to my Christmas party today?" and hands me a note from his religious education teacher that he received LAST week...about the party TODAY!
As I recall, all the kids said that they didn't need to bring anything to their parties--only a couple of ornaments for the older kids to trade with their classmates. The children were finishing up making homemade cards for all their teachers when Jimmer sprang this one on me. So goes life.
No time for creative thought. My husband had taken the family vehicle to work since it was too rainy and cold to take his open Jeep, so I couldn't get to the store. Hmmm...not much in the pantry, though I had a box of unsweetened chocolate.
I just want to say a big thanks to my neighbor, Julia, who had candy canes that I could use to make these holiday brownies.
The easy way to make these brownies is to use a box mix, add 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (very good, but optional if you don't have it on hand) to the batter and bake as directed in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Using a quart-sized zipper baggie, crush four larger-sized candy canes with a mallet.
When the brownies have about 5 minutes left to bake, take them out of the oven, distribute the crushed candy canes over the top of the brownies, press them gently into the top, and finish baking.
If you're like me and don't have a mix, then make a fudgey version of your favorite brownie. I cut the vanilla extract in half and add 1/2 tsp. of peppermint extract.
Today, instead of just adding the crushed candy canes on top, I sprinkled on some milk chocolate chips five minutes before the brownies were done. After they were done baking, I spread the chocolate over the brownies with a knife, then sprinkled the crushed candy canes over the chocolate.
Allow the brownies to cool completely, then cut them into triangular tree shapes for that little extra Christmassy somethin', flip them all onto a red plastic plate, top it with non-festive, plain old clear cellophane (that is molecularily opposed to bonding with red plastic plates), hand them to your six year old, let him know that you'd like him not to run with them and drop them all before he gets to his party, and send him on his way with his dad...who has now returned just bit late with the family vehicle to run all the children to their parties.
Now close the door, pour some spiked egg nog, and finish wrapping Christmas presents while all the kids are away for that one and only precious hour a week that they are out of the house without you at their side. Ahhhhhh!
If I had the time, the ingredients and the gumption, I may have tried making these yummy looking brownies. The recipe has a few extra steps I just didn't have time for today.
Note: If you looked really closely at the picture of the final brownies, you'd notice a very sparce sprinkling of green sugar. I didn't think it addded anything special, so I stopped and left it with barely noticable greenery.