I can’t believe Christmas is just around the corner. Scary, right? I swear it was New Year’s Day for 2012 just a few seconds ago… It is absolutely amazing how time seems to be moving right now. I’ve had a busy week – I’ve turned 25 (today, actually!) and finally upgraded to a full drivers licence (goodbye, P plates!)
This year I was hoping to get ridiculously organised with Christmas super early – taking a bit of the stress off during the mad December last-minute shopping (which usually occurs on Christmas Eve. Haha… but seriously, not joking). I’ve (as usual) been trying to become more organised to help save time and money wherever possible by planning ahead. One of my ideas this year is to make some homemade Christmas hampers for family and friends packed with plenty of homemade goodies. One of these recipes I plan to include are these Christmas brownies!
How lucky was I, then, to be sent a package of Lucky Nuts from Nuffnang to review? It also gave me a chance to completely stuff a brownie recipe full of nutty goodness – as if I needed a reason. While I haven’t used Lucky Nuts in the past for baking, I certainly have used them for everyday uses: sprinkling them in cereals, adding them to pestos and dips and, of course, snacking on at work! Aside from being a good quality product, I like that they’re so conveniently accessible from Coles and Woolies, which is a big plus in my books. All in all, they definitely turned out well in this recipe!
These brownies are based off Nigella Lawson’s Flourless Brownies, but packed with extra goodies – more nuts, cherries and chocolate chips, and topped with a layer of fondant. I had never tried baking flourless brownies before but was pleasantly surprised with the result – a dense, incredibly moist and chocolatey brownie, stuffed with extra nutty goodness. It reminded me of a chocolatey version of a Christmas cake – you could add some liquor, extra nuts and dried fruit to emulate this if you wish but I think they’re pretty good the way they are!
Since this recipe uses almond meal instead of flour, these brownies are also perfect for gifting to your gluten intolerent friends and family! This recipe is also great for cleaning up as it is all made in the one pan.
Flourless Christmas Brownies
Ingredients To make about 20 brownies
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup baking dark chocolate
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (I store my vanilla beans in my caster sugar, so skipped this step)
- 3 eggs, whisked (I used organic)
- 200g Lucky almond meal
- 150g Lucky walnuts
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 250 g (or 1 cup) dark chocolate chips You can also use white or milk choc chips to mix things up a bit!
- 250 grams of white fondant
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees C and butter / line a brownie tin with baking paper to prevent sticking.
- Melt butter over a low heat in a saucepan with high sides.
- Add baking dark chocolate and stir until butter and chocolate melt together.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla essence (if using).
- Temper eggs by adding a little of the warm chocolate mixture to your beaten eggs and mix together. Add eggs to saucepan and stir until mixed in.
- Add almond meal and stir until fully combined.
- Add walnuts, cherries and chocolate chips. If you wish to add any other dried fruit/nuts, etc. do so now.
- Pour brownie mix from pan into lined tin and bake at 150 degrees, or until a thin blade comes out of the brownie with moist crumbs sticking to it.
- Roll fondant out until at 2cm thickness. Moisten the top of your brownie with water and top with fondant. Brownie slices best after being refrigerated overnight. Serve and enjoy!
View pics left to right, top to bottom.
Hope you are all having a great week and aren’t getting too stressed out by impending Christmas shopping!
With lots of love from the freshly-turned 25 me!
Disclaimer: Cooking Crusade was sent Lucky Nuts to review by Nuffnang (Product Talk by Nuffnang), however the opinions in this post are my own.