It's Christmas, a time for love and family and peace, and the thought of working through another weekend with my daughter was a little depressing. So I didn't. I had fun with her instead.
Every time I make cookies she asks me if she can be my little helper. It's heartbreakingly sweet...that little face with those doe eyes looking up at me.... tho I know her real motivation is just to get her hands on a cookie and icing...to eat it. Still...
So this weekend I made a project that she and I could do together. Even got the hubs to join in.
No, these wont be OMG amazing or expertly done or perfect by any means....just clean wholesome down and dirty baking fun.
These are so easy and fast to make too. And delicious. Did I mention that? I had one for breakfast this morning...don't tell my OB...
To start out your going to need to make brownies (oh darn)
Here is my super-simple part-make-it-in-the-microwave brownies:
Deliciously Fudgy One Bowl Brownies
2 sticks salted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350
Melt the butter in a large pyrex bowl in the microwave. Start by heating it for 35 seconds, stir, then heat another 35 seconds. Stir till it's all melted. Add sugars and mix together by hand with a spatula. Then add eggs, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Stir together with your spatula till all ingredients are incorporated. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together over bowl. Then stir in a folding manner till all the dry ingredients are well mixed. Pour your brownie batter in a rectangular 9x13 sprayed with baking Pam.
Spread the mixture in the pan evenly, then put them in the oven. As soon as you put them in reduce the temperature to 330 and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. I have a convection oven so I only needed 25 and they were perfect. Take out of the oven and let cool completely.
While the brownies cool, make your buttercream. You can use any recipe you like. Here is the one I used:
Simple Mint "Buttercream"
2 sticks salted butter (softened)
1/2 8oz block of cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract
milk (any kind will do...I used 2%)
Beat your butter in a mixer till light and fluffy. Ad your cream cheese and beat just till incorporated. Be sure you don't beat too much or it may start to curdle. Add your powdered sugar and extracts. Beat till well combined. Add milk to reach desired consistency.
Then I took my frosting and divided it into thirds. I then colored one third green and the other third pink (using red coloring). I left the last third alone.
Here's where the fun begins!
Your going to need to invert your brownies on to a baking sheet , then invert them again onto a large flat surface. Then take a pizza cutter or a knife and cut them into 3 long strips.
Then take your colored frosting and an offset spatula and spread icing evenly over desired segments like so:
Then take your knife (or whatever) and cut the strips into triangles:
You'll have these little half triangles from the end...
I'm entrust you can find a suitable and responsible use for them.
om nom nom nom.....
Anyway.... after your done with this step, put the rest of your frosting into piping bags with whatever tips you want.
Next your going to need sprinkles, and sugars, and jimmies and doo dads....
That's a lot of bottles, jars and containers....so make this easier on yourself and divvy out the goods into a mini muffin pan.
Now your adorable and angelic child (and clumsy husband) won't accidently dump out an $8 bottle of sugar pearls onto your new rug....
Then....line your floors and furniture with protective plastic covering.....
Then.... LET THE DECORATING BEGIN!
The kids will have fun, trust me. And surprise surprise....you probably will too.
And don't be afraid to eat the mess ups
Here's our glorious creations from the day:
I made a few of them"trees" but putting a cocoa covered almond in the brownie....
I know the holidays get really busy but it was so nice to be able to do something festive and fun with my daughter this year. Even if this is all we get to do, it was really warming and totally worth the mess that i have to scrub out of my rug....
So if you have little ones....or not....just anyone in your life that maybe you want to hold a little closer, do something fun and simple and creative that you can enjoy together. This is what we decided to do this weekend. What are your holiday projects with the family this year?
I invite you to link them up and share. :)