Busy day yesterday... holiday parties number one and two, back to back. We started with Jerome's work party for kids at the Récréathèque, where Logan was in complete heaven. I wish I had a playroom like that in my basement!! I'm not sure I've ever seen him quite so happy as he was as he rolled around in the balls and whipped down all of the slides:
I can't say that I enjoyed crawling through those little tunnels quite as much as he did, though it did bring back some awfully fond memories of Amazing Kidz and cleaning those darned play structures!
We also got a chance to visit with Santa, yet again. And for once, Logan was neither afraid of him, nor did he yell "no, no, no!" as he was taken to Santa. I guess the third time's a charm. Though he still did wiggle and appear just generally miserable when sitting on him...
We then basically got home from the Récréathèque and had just enough time to feed Logan and get him to sleep before our babysitter knocked on the door. And then we were off to Michael and Cynthia's wonderful annual Chranukkah party that we are fortunate enough to be invited to. They have a great circle of friends and every year is filled with wonderful conversation and great food.
Chloé and Annabel were lucky enough to be the only babies young enough to be allowed to join the adults this year. Annabel, the daughter of my friend Christine, is only 2 days younger than Chloé. And neither yet knows that they will be each others' best friends.
Did I mention that Chranukkah's theme every year is chocolate?? This year, I decided to make these brownies to bring with me. My grandmother made them for Logan and Maddy's baptism and they were absofrickin' fantastic. And I have to admit that I really hate raspberry and chocolate together. Or mostly any fruit and chocolate combination that isn't with real fruit, other than banana. In fact, when my grandmother told me in advance that she was going to bring these, I have to admit that I thought to myself "yuck, disgusting" (sorry grammy!).
Now, of course, that didn't stop me from trying them at the baptism and it turns out that they were amongst the world's best brownies that I have ever tried. They're rich, and moist, and just plain delicious. And the raspberry flavour isn't at all overwhelming and just gives it some sweetness. Scott and I hid in my parents' dining room at the baptism, enjoying way too many portions of these. The ones that I brought to last night's party were a little too cooked and weren't quite as tasty as my grandmothers'. So be sure to get them out of the oven in time. This recipe comes from Taste of Home's Prize Winning Recipes.
1/2 C butter
1 1/4 C semisweet chocolate chps
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 C (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 C confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
1/3 C seedless red raspberry jam
1/4 C semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. shortening
1. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips over low heat. Cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar. Dissolve coffee granules in water; add to egg mixture with melted chocolate. Mix well. Combine baking powder and flour; stir into chocolate mixture. Spread in a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean. Cool.
3. For filling, melt chocolate chips; cool. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy; add confectioners' sugar and jam. Stir in melted chocolate; spread over cooled brownies.
4. For glaze, melt chocolate chips and shortening. Drizzle over filling. Chill before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.