|Apricot Lebkuchen Brownies + Fruit, Nut, Chocolate Bites|
Apricot Lebkuchen Brownies
I do love a chocolate nut option on a dessert plate. This one is moist, and tastes of German spice cookies too!
(an adaptation of these)
- 1/3 cup apricot jam
- 3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 unit large eggs
- 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp lebkuchen spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan, knocking out excess flour.
- In a small bowl stir jam until smooth and set aside. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth and remove pan from heat. Scrape mixture into a large bowl and cool 10 minutes. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon until mixture is glossy and smooth. In a bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, spice, ground nuts and salt and add to chocolate mixture, beating just until batter is combined well.
- Spread half of batter evenly in pan. Drop jam by spoonfuls onto batter and spread carefully to form an even layer. Drop remaining chocolate batter by spoonfuls onto apricot jam and spread carefully to form an even top layer. Bake on center rack of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool brownies completely in pan on a rack before using a small, round cookie cutter to cut shapes.
- Pour a simple sugar glaze overtop and decorate with diced dried apricots. (I used the find of the century instead: chocolate covered apricots from Tickleberry's !)
The Fruit, Nut and Chocolate Bites don't even need a recipe. Pinch together a dried apricot with a raw almond, dip one half into melted chocolate and lay on a sheet of waxed paper. Let cool in the fridge for one hour then store refrigerated in tupperware for up to one week.
I quickly made some gift-wrap cones to hold a few Fruit, Nut and Chocolate Bites for guests who (un)expectedly stop by (tip: put the bites into a small ziplock bag before putting into the cones).
This is the extent of my Christmas 'baking' and I'm happy with the yield! I chose to consider my family's sanity and not over-estimate my capabilities and time-contraints...