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Treat for Santa—and Elves

Here's a holiday treat to nibble on while decking the halls—and to leave for Santa.

by Jean Hecker

Well, the most wonderful time of the year is here again! It’s time to get out the boxes of Christmas decorations and deck the halls. I usually wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving to start and all I need is some Christmas tunes on the radio and I’m all set!

I found a unique recipe for an exceptional treat rich in chocolate flavor and loaded with an exotic combination of spices. Just what you need to leave out for Santa on that special night. Just don’t forget the milk!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare 8 x 8 baking dish, rubbed with butter and dusted with flour

  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs, divided
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil or you can use canola oil
  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground coffee or espresso
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Spread nibs on baking sheet in single layer, bake for seven to 10 minutes until shiny, remove and set aside to cool. In a small saucepan heat oil and chocolate just until melted, set aside to cool slightly.

Combine flour, spices, coffee and sugar, mix to incorporate, then add melted chocolate and mix well. Add eggs and vanilla, fold in 1/3 cup of nibs. Mix thoroughly, pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining nibs evenly over batter.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in middle comes out mostly clean.

Jean Hecker has a BA in Home Economics Education from Rowan University and enjoys exploring all facets of the food and restaurant industry.

Food for Thought