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Do you feel like you’re always taking the same old thing to holiday parties or celebrations, but you don’t think you have time to make anything fancy or time consuming? Brownies are always a hit; whether they’re a mix or from scratch, most people love these bites of chocolatey goodness. Unfortunately, brownies aren’t the prettiest dish to serve. Once you begin to slice them, the edges become ragged (but using a cheap plastic knife does the least amount of damage), and they’re no longer pretty (not that brownies are the most beautiful treat to begin with). I found the easiest solution to make serving a snap. Today I’m dressing up an ordinary brownie (from scratch, recipe below), to make them a tasty, festive, and beautiful treat. I’m also sharing a few tips to making packaging, transporting, and even mailing holiday treats easier and less messy.
Chewy or cake-like brownies are a personal preference. My favorite is a chewy brownie, but they’re also the most fragile. Unless I’m being really lazy or I’m out of one ingredient or another, I usually make them from scratch and I use my own recipe. The absolute easiest way to serve brownies is to bake them in these individual heat-proof paper-like baking containers. You can wrap them, decorate them, and easily transport them elsewhere for serving. I don’t modify my recipe, and I just watch them closely using the toothpick-test to check to see if they’re done. It took roughly 15-20 minutes for these to bake at 350F. You have to purchase the individual dishes that are approved and heat-safe for baking.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup butter or oil (butter is better)
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Preheat to 350F
- Grease baking pan (use 8x8, 9x9, or individual baking pans)
- Combine all ingredients together and mix well
- Bake according to pan size and/or when toothpick comes out clean
Basic Brownies can be customized with numerous options for toppings; it’s fun to host a brownie bar. Here is our list of favorite icings and toppings for dressing up an ordinary brownie:
- Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or marshmallow frosting
- Peanut butter, almond butter, or chocolate hazelnut spread
- Seasonal sprinkles and sugar crystals
- Powdered sugar
These are perfect to transport to a holiday sweets/recipe exchange, class party, work luncheon, or holiday potluck. I found the individual containers stack perfectly in the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage containers. They’re inexpensive enough to keep extras on hand for last minute functions, but you also don’t have to stress over losing more expensive containers. I picked mine up from our local Walmart, and I also saw multi-size bundles on sale. There is a special Ibotta offer for $1 Off Of Any 2 Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Products exclusive to Walmart shoppers.
Rubbermaid TakeAlongs make it easier to safely package and store holiday treats. I participated in a national cookie exchange for bloggers, and I used Rubbermaid TakeAlongs to package and ship my cookies. I felt confident that my cookies would arrive less crushed or broken than if I had used other types of packaging. I use the same Rubbermaid TakeAlongs to package and transport my baked goods for local holiday baking/cookie/recipe exchanges. Rubbermaid TakeAlongs use Quik Clik Seal™ which helps to seal the container and prevent spills. They’re also microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe. The Rubbermaid TakeAlongs feature a soft, flexible lid that creates a good seal and they have a pull-tab for easy opening.
When shipping cookies or other treats, here is what I suggest:
- Use a tight layer of padding around your treats. You can also seal them in individual bags. I don’t consider most tissue paper food safe, because you don’t know where it has been or what it has been exposed to. I frequently use napkins. There needs to be enough padding so that when you gently shake the container, you don’t feel any movement.
- Secure the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs with tape, ribbon, twine, or even gift wrap. You don’t want your container to come open during shipment.
- Use washi tape and a marker to label the treats. Make sure you include the date that you baked them, especially if there is a delay in shipment.
- Include the recipe card or a link to the recipe. This makes it easier for those with food allergies, or if someone wants to bake another batch.
- Ship them in a secure box with additional padding (use tissue paper or bubble wrap), and mark them as fragile.
I let Gabe help me decorate the brownies that I made. I ran to get my packing tape and I found him already enjoying a treat. My basic brownie recipe is Gabe approved.
“Mom, Do I have chocolate on my face?”
Are you doing any holiday specific baking? Make sure you check out the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs available for purchase at Walmart. They’re available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, including festive holiday prints and colors.