Chocolate: This is the one time of the year when you will definitely find some in my home. My kids love it, especially because they know that I really don’t like chocolate too much, so it isn’t normally here. For them it is an 11-month waiting period to finally enjoy a warm and delicious chocolatey treat made in the Davis kitchen. Ahhhh yes, when December arrives they know that the chocolate smell will fill the air and they’ll be enjoying one, if not more of mom’s Christmas chocolate creations!
I will say that my Christmas chocolate creations have changed since I began living healthier. Now I find that I use recipes that include less fat, sugar and calories but still taste great. My chocolate-dipped pretzels, for instance, are only about 90 calories each and the family loves them. I buy a 10-ounce bag of pretzel rods and a 10-ounce bag of Nestle dark chocolate morsels. I melt the chocolate and dip the pretzel rods into the melted chocolate halfway up, sprinkling a few pieces of coarsely chopped candy cane immediately on the area covered with chocolate. I place the pretzel rods (approximately 24) on waxed paper to allow them to harden and after a couple hours, they are ready to enjoy.
Here is another recipe that also includes chocolate and candy canes, one that is sure to be a hit with your family as well as mine. Let me know what you think of these peppermint brownies, which originally appeared in Cooking Light. The recipe serves 12 people at 294 calories per serving.
Peppermint Brownie a la Mode
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup warm fat-free milk
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 5 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Cooking spray
- 4 cups reduced-fat chocolate chip ice cream, softened
- 4 candy canes (2 ounces), coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped candy canes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Set aside.
- Combine fat-free milk, instant coffee, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add sugar and eggs, stirring with a whisk until well combined. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips at high in 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until completely melted. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture, stirring with a whisk until well combined.
- Fold egg mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spread batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 12 pieces.
- Place ice cream in a large bowl. Add 4 coarsely chopped candy canes to ice cream, stirring with a wooden spoon until well combined. Return to freezer until ready to serve.
- Place 1 brownie on a plate; sprinkle with about 1/8 teaspoon powdered sugar. Top with 1/3 cup ice cream. Garnish with additional candy cane pieces, if desired.
Nutritional Information (Makes 12 servings)
Per serving: 294 calories; 10.2g total fat; 160mg sodium; 47.9g carbohydrates; 1.7g fiber; 5.2g protein
Photo by BigSisLilSis