Chunky Double Chocolate Caramel Brownies

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The holiday season is loosely translated to the “chocolate” season in our family. Whether we’re gifting each other our favorite chocolates, candy bars, or truffles, some of us end up with countless boxes of these festive holiday chocolates…more than we could ever eat! If leftover chocolate is not a problem in your home, you’re one of the lucky few.

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That’s where these Chunky Double Chocolate Caramel Brownies come in to save the day. By chopping and folding in bits and pieces from into this semi-healthy brownie batter (it has applesauce that replaces some of the fat in this recipe, so it’s not too bad!), you’re turning your holiday chocolate gifts into a delicious, chocolate packed treat.

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American confectionery craftsmen and women make the Hickory Farms Signature Chocolate Collection with the finest ingredients, along with premium milk and dark chocolate, and these chocolates are like little bites of heaven. The flavor combinations include Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, Almond Butter Toffee, Raspberry Sorbet Heart, and Espresso Coffee Cream, among others. For this recipe, I chose all the caramel based chocolates to accentuate the caramel flavors of the brownies. These brownies are the perfect treat to bring to teachers, family members, neighbors, or friends. They’re decadent enough for the holidays, but simple enough to make any day of the week!

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Chunky Double Chocolate Caramel Brownies

 

1 stick unsalted butter

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

8-10 Hickory Farms Signature Chocolates, roughly chopped

Caramel sauce, to taste

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly oil two medium sized loaf pans. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the cocoa powder, apple sauce, and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Add the warm chocolate/butter mixture and mix until blended. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder and stir but do not over mix.
  4. Fold in chopped Signature Chocolates, pour into previously greased pans and bake for 40-50 minutes until fully cooked.
  5. Serve warm with a generous drizzle of caramel sauce.

 

 

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With the Hickory Farms Signature Chocolate Collection, and great friends and family, you have all the tools to turn any evening into a delicious, chocolate-filled experience.

 

Marnely Rodriguez- Murray is an established chef with an extensive culinary background as well as a friend of Hickory Farms. Marnely brings masterfully created recipes using your favorite Hickory Farms products, just in time for the Holiday season. With a specialty in pastry creation, Marnely has been genius in turning every dish into a masterpiece.

 

 

Best Wine Pairings with Holiday Ham

The upcoming holidays are typically the busiest time of the year as families begin planning festive dinner parties for friends and relatives. So, chances are high that at least one holiday celebration will feature a spiral ham.

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The variety and versatility of ham makes it a perfect entree, and Hickory Farms has a few suggestions for the best wine pairings with ham to make your holiday dinner a great success.

  • The last you want to do is overwhelm the juicy flavors of a well-cooked ham, so keep that in mind and select something lighter or medium-bodied, like a sparkling Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.
  • The inherent sweetness of ham and the holiday’s traditional sweet side dishes blend best when your wine has a touch of fruity flavor. A type of wine to serve with Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced HoneyGold Ham stands up well next to a fruity Pinot Grigio with a hint of honey.
  • Ham dishes featuring sweet pineapple and brown sugar glazes are a delicious holiday treat that should be paired with a sweet wine. Drier wines can taste too acidic with these foods, so now is the time to serve a sweet drink, like Reisling or Moscato.

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  • It’s a good idea to select a wine with moderate alcohol levels when pairing with a salty ham. A heavy red with lots of tannins can clash with the strong flavors of a salt-cured ham. Wine pairings of this type of ham works well with the smooth and refined flavors of Kendall-Jackson Vitner’s Reserve Chardonnay.

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  • Some holiday hams are of the spicy variety, making Rosé the perfect choice. Other acceptable options include a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon or Gewürztraminer.

No matter which wine is served with a ham dinner, you’ll be a real hit when you enter a holiday gathering with one of Hickory Farms wine gifts like our Hickory Holiday Celebration Gift Basket. Packed in its own reusable gift basket is an assortment of sweet and savory treats, from dark chocolate-dipped almonds and shortbread cookies to summer sausage and cheddar cheese. This elegant holiday gift also comes with two bottles of wine, a Chardonnay from Kendall Jackson and a Cabernet from Murphy.

Place your orders early in time for the holidays by ordering online or calling 800.753.8558.

 

Peppermint Snow Mint Place Settings DIY

Sometimes the subtle decorative touches to the dinner table are the ones that are most noticed and appreciated. Here at Hickory Farms, we believe in adding person flair to gatherings with friends and family to give your guests ideas and inspiration they can then share at parties later to come.

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Peppermints are known notoriously as being a sign of the holiday season. Instead of serving peppermints in a traditional manner as an after dinner palate cleanser, take your décor to new heights by creating Peppermint Snow Mints   place settings. Not only will these place setting additions serve their true purpose of directing your guests to their seat, at the end of the night, their after dinner mint will be patiently waiting at their seat.

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With a sharp knife, cut mid-way through the firm, yet sliceable Hickory Farms Peppermint Snow Mint. As soon as you lacerate the mint, you will smell the minty aroma, which ads a nice fragrance to any dinner party. Next, cut rectangular pieces of cardstock. These will be the guest identifiers in the mints, and should be the size of a standard business card.

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After you write the names of your guests on the cardstock, insert each nameplate in the Hickory Farms Peppermint Show Mints   Arrange the name plates however you please, and let the party begin.

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With great company, and a little help from Hickory Farms, you’ll be able to host a dinner party with DIY touches that set your party apart from the rest.