The first day of December, and for many of you, it’s snowy and magical. We were told that it’s snowed once in the last 17 years here in Corpus. Almost six inches fell, and it stuck around nearly the entire day — the first, maybe only, time seeing snow for much of the town. Must have been incredible. Though there was a crispness to the morning air, I challenge a snowflake to fall when it’s a balmy 65° F.

Starting today many in the blog world are stoking their oven flames, to be kept running at full tilt until the new year. I’ll leave the multiple holiday cookie and bar and pie postings to more ambitious bloggers; those with little mouths or eager co-workers to gobble the overflowing tins of sweets.

I will, however, recommend these pomegranate brownies for gifting.

Package them up in a parchment-lined box tied with twine or stack tall in a ribbon-bedecked cellophane sack, or just bring them to pass at a gathering. Fudgy and festive, a fruity pop of pink to spice things up. Who wouldn’t like that?

It may not be snowing outside, but I have powdered sugar floating down in my kitchen. I can’t complain.

Winter Pomegranate Brownies [makes one 8 or 9″ square pan]

Printable recipe

7 T softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan

3 large eggs

1/2 c light brown sugar (dark brown sugar is delicious here)

5 oz good-quality dark or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

3/4 c + scant 1 T (3.5 oz or 100 g) self-rising flour*

2 oz (about 1/4 c) pomegranate arils

powdered sugar, to decorate

Grease an 8 or 9″ square baking pan with butter. If desired, line the bottom and sides with greaseproof paper (or parchment, then grease again with butter). Preheat oven to 350° F.

Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the brown sugar and eggs together until pale and airy.

In a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, slowly melt butter and chocolate together, stirring constantly. Once melted completely, stir into the egg and sugar mixture. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix until mostly combined. Add the pomegranate arils, mixing again, gently, until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and level off with a spatula. Place pan in the middle of the oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow brownies to cool slightly in the baking pan, about 10 minutes. Remove brownies from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely: if you greased the pan only, invert onto a plate, place the wire rack over the brownies and then turn right-side-up on the rack; if you papered the bottom, grasp edges of paper, lift brownies out and then slide onto the rack.

With a large, sharp knife cut brownies into 9 or 12 squares (however many you like). Fill a small, fine-meshed sieve with a little powdered sugar and lightly dust the top of the brownies.

*Make your own self-rising flour: 1 c all purpose flour + 1 1/2 t baking powder + 1/2 t salt

Adapted from Caroline Swift on design sponge

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