However, I love a summer Christmas. A long summer holiday with presents, time to read all those books you received from your family. What could be better? It’s true that a traditional roasted dinner can be a bit much, but a summer Christmas is also a great excuse to get expensive seafood and fresh summer fruit, all in the name of celebration. I have never known a white Christmas, although I would love to someday. For now I will enjoy bare feet and air conditioning.
What’s a cookie round up without brownies? These ones are on the cakey rather than fudgey side of things, which is unusual for me. I added pretzels because I love them, and they add a nice crunchy saltiness, cutting through the chocolate.
Hazelnuts pair perfectly with chocolate and these ones are particularly good travellers, too.
Hazelnut Pretzel Brownies
Adapted from The Easy Way Vegetarian
115 g butter, unsalted, at room temperature
175 g dark chocolate, chopped
175 g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp instant coffee powder
75 g toasted hazelnuts, chopped
100 g pretzels, broken into smallish pieces
2 large eggs
150 g brown sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line an 18 cm square brownie pan/cake tin with foil and grease with extra butter (a canola spray also works well). Set aside.
Melt the butter and 55 g of the chocolate together in a double boiler or in short bursts in the microwave. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and coffee. Stir in the remaining chocolate, hazelnuts and pretzels. Set aside.
Whisk the eggs and sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and fold in the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and spread out with a spatula. Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then take out of the pan and cool on a rack. Let cool completely before slicing into squares and impressing strangers with your decadent brownies.