DIY Gifts: Chocolate brownies for your in-laws

DIY Gifts: Chocolate brownies for your in-laws

These chocolate and marzipan brownies are spicy and reminiscent of Swiss Christmas cookies, for an old world festive touch. Choose images they will relate to for the tin decoration, in this case postage stamps to charm a stamp collector.


Once the brownies are finished, use the tin for something else.

Stamp tin
You will need

  • old stamps
  • tin
  • modge podge
  • paint brush
  • baking paper to line the tin
  • cardboard
  • string
  • chocolate marzipan brownies (recipe below)

To make

  1. To remove old stamps from envelopes, soak them in water until the stamps peel off easily. Line a tray with paper towels and spread the stamps out to dry.
  2. Paint a little modge podge onto the surface of the tin. Position a stamp onto the tin and then paint modge podge over it. Repeat with more stamps to cover the entire surface of the tin.
  3. Set aside to dry completely. Paint another coat of modge podge over the stamps. Once the tin is completely dry, line with baking paper and fill with the chocolate brownies. Alternatively, fill with chocolates or biscuits.
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Chocolate and marzipan brownies
Makes: about 30 small squares
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 30-35 minutes
Oven temperature: 160 degrees Celsius

Ingredients

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 160g (175ml) butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 55g (65ml) white sugar
  • 100g (165ml) dark brown sugar
  • 10ml ground ginger
  • 10ml ground cinnamon
  • large pinch each of ground cloves, grated nutmeg and ground black pepper
  • 5ml vanilla extract
  • 100g (250ml) ground almonds
  • 100g (185ml) cake flour
  • 2,5ml baking powder
  • 130g marzipan, chilled
  • icing sugar, to dust

To make

  1. Grease and line a 22-25cm square cake tin.
  2. Chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes. Heat in a saucepan over a low heat. Once the chocolate starts to melt, stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugars together until light. Add the spices and vanilla extract and beat well. Stir in the ground almonds, flour and baking powder.
  4. Grate the marzipan coarsely and fold into the batter, along with the chocolate mixture. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. The cake should still be moist.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Cover and set aside for 24 hours. Dust with icing sugar.
  6. Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the cake into small squares.

Packaging
Line the stamp-decorated tin with baking paper and pack the brownies into the tin. Place a sheet of baking paper between the layers. Cut a piece of brown cardboard into a rectangle to make the tag. Cut off two corners so it resembles an old parcel label. Stick a few leftover stamps onto the tag with glue.
Punch a hole through the tag and thread with a long piece of string. Tie the string around the tin and knot at the top, positioning the label so it sits at the top of the tin.

chocolate-brownies

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