(StatePoint) As we find ourselves surrounded by an abundance of this year’s “must-have” items, our shopping lists are often dictated by retail experts all claiming to offer the ultimate gift-giving guide. But there’s no need to spend a fortune or face the aggravation of competing with crowds for sold-out products. Sometimes, the most rich and memorable gifts can be created in the kitchen.
To put a touch of finesse on your sweet treats, take a cue from the experts and use Plugrá butter, which professional pastry chefs prefer because of its slow-churn and extra creaminess. Unlike other butters, Plugrá uses the right balance of specially selected cream and butterfat, resulting in a texture that harmoniously bends and blends to help craft homemade, confectionary masterpieces.
Using the finest ingredients, Plugrá’s executive chef, Linda Hall, developed a decadent brownie recipe that’s certain to spice up gift-giving.
“Nothing says indulgence like a gooey, chocolaty brownie, however, most people have been there, done that. This year, dial it up a notch by adding spices and flavors that evoke warmth and coziness. My recipe is reminiscent of a hot cup of Mexican hot chocolate that has cinnamon and vanilla notes,” says Hall.
To get you inspired this season, Plugrá partnered with other premium ingredients brands to create a brownie with better results. The Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies recipe below embraces a savory note produced by Spice House’s strongest and sweetest Vietnamese “Saigon” cinnamon, along with a kick of chipotle pepper. The decadent flavor is also emphasized by using fair and sustainable Manjari dark chocolate from leading chocolate brand, Valrhona, in addition to Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, which uses premium, hand selected beans and a slow extraction process to produce the richest tasting vanilla. Additional holiday recipes can be found by visiting plugra.com/recipes.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies
Source: Plugrá Kitchens, Chicago, Illinois
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
• 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
• 10 tablespoons Plugrá European Style Butter, unsalted
• 4 large eggs
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon ground Saigon cinnamon from the Spice House
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
• 2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
• 6 ounces Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13-inch square pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a large, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or until melted.
3. Stir in the sugar until well blended.
4. Beat in the eggs.
5. Stir in the remaining ingredients until just blended.
6. Spread the batter on the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the pan to see if it comes out clean.
Package your dessert in a decorative tin or box and handwrite the recipe for the gift that keeps giving!
PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Premyuda Yospim / iStock via Getty Images Plus