Treats

Chocolate Brownie Pies

December 13, 2014

Christmas Brownie Pies

I sometimes find it hard to believe that I have been living here in Seattle for over 2 years! I think I have assimilated well. I probably speak more like an American-when I go to the grocery store, I say cart instead of trolley for one! ¬†I celebrate American holidays, and have forgotten all about those countless European bank holidays ūüėȬ†I eat American – now¬†that¬†I know where to find all the¬†great local produce, there is little I miss – with¬†exception of¬†Irish cheese and dairy.

When I came here first, I was intent on converting Americans to mince pies. It failed. When I say the word mincemeat here, many people shudder ¬†and think it somehow involves meat. These¬†days mincemeat really is just a combination of dried fruit, winter spices, and alcohol.¬†The next year, I tried a different tack with my plan – I added the ¬†mincemeat to the most American thing I could think of – a brownie. It was definitely better received, but it didn’t look like a¬†mince pie. So, this year, I have combined all the ideas and come up with the Christmas¬†Brownie Pie. I’m still working on the name.¬† Essentially, it’s a¬†a boozy, fruit and nut flavored brownie encased in a¬†crisp, butter pastry shell¬†. These treats are the perfect combination of gooey chocolate, crisp pastry, boozy fruit and toasted nuts. In fact, I think they are about the¬†most¬†perfect treat to nibble on¬†while you are wrapping Christmas pressies or decorating the tree. ¬†They are divine with a coffee or even better with a Christmas brandy.

mincemeat

Ingredients

Christmas Brownie Pies

Makes 8

Quick Mincemeat

  • 30g of dried cranberries / cherries/ raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of Cointreau/ Whiskey / Brandy
  • 1 tablespoon of orange marmalade (thick peel if possible)

Pastry

  • 140g of flour
  • 60g of powdered sugar
  • 80g of butter, chopped in cubes
  • 2¬†tablespoons of¬†milk

Brownies

  • 50g of dark chocolate
  • 50g of butter
  • 80g of soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g of flour
  • 30g of whole nuts, chopped (brazils/pecans/almonds – preferably roasted and unsalted)

Garnish

    • Whipped cream
    • Orange Zest

Christmas Brownie Pies

 Method

  1. Start by putting all the ingredients for the mincemeat into a bowl, and leave to stew as you make the rest of the recipe.
  2. Next, to make the pastry, sieve the flour into a large bowl.
  3. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
  4. Add the butter and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  5. Then, add the milk a little at a time and use a fork to bring the mixture together into pastry dough. Depending on your brand of flour you may need a little less/more of the milk.
  6. Gather the pastry into your hands and wrap it in cling wrap. Place the pastry in the fridge and leave to rest for at least an hour.
  7. Grease 8 compartments of a  muffin tin with a little butter.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C.
  9. To make the brownie mixture, melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
  10. Using electric beaters or food processor,  beat the brown sugar and butter together and gradually add the beaten egg.
  11. Add the flour to the sugar and butter mixture, and continue to beat.
  12. Next, add the melted chocolate and beat well.
  13. Finally stir in the nuts and mincemeat.
  14. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is about 1/4 of inch thick.
  15. Using a 3.5 inch round cookie cutter, cut out 8 pastry circles. You could also cut out rough circles with a knife.
  16. Line 8 of the muffin tin compartments with the pastry circles.
  17. Spoon the brownie mixture into the 8 pastry cases.
  18. Place the pies  in the oven and bake for 20-25 minute, just until the pastry is golden and the brownies are cooked in the center.
  19. Once cooked, allow to cool, then remove the pies and place them on a wire rack.
  20. Garnish the pies with a little piped whipped cream, and orange zest.

Christmas Brownie Pies

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