A Cook's Plot

Baking & Bread

Christmas brownies

My famous brownies recipe - with a special Christmas twist!

My chocolate brownie recipe has become quite famous round here - I’ve been asked to make it for everything from parties to wakes and weddings! So this year, I thought I’d see if I could give the recipe a Christmas update. I must admit I had my doubts until I tried it, but it turns out that adding mincemeat and brandy-soaked apricots to the usual mixture is delicious… Here’s how I did it…


Serves 12

  • 5-6 dried apricots
  • 2 tbps brandy
  • 180g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 180g unsalted butter (at room temperature, cut into cubes)
  • 270g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100g plain flour
  • 6 tbsp good-quality mincemeat


First, chop up the apricots and leave them to soak in the brandy. Put the dark chocolate and butter in a small glass bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water, being careful that the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Allow to melt, stirring every now and again. Meanwhile, beat the sugar and eggs together with an electric hand whisk for about 3 mins until pale and creamy.

Take the chocolate mixture off the heat and allow to cool a little then stir very gently into the eggs and sugar, trying to knock out as little of the air as possible. Stir in the flour and cocoa and keep stirring, still very gently, until it's all well combined, then add the mincemeat. Drain the apricots and stir them in gently too.

Pour into a 30cm x 20cm traybake tin lined with a rectangle of baking parchment and bake in a preheated oven at 160C (fan oven) for 35-40 minutes. This is a much longer cooking time than my usual brownie recipe because the mincemeat changes the moisture content of the mixture - what you're looking for is a just-slightly wobbly middle when you touch it, with the rest feeling just set. Even so, it will still seem very soft when it first comes out of the oven and will stay that way until it has cooled right down. But once it's cool, you should end up with the perfect texture - macaroony on top and soft and delicious underneath!

Leave to cool completely in the tin and then cut into squares.

A Cook's Plot Tip

The brownies will keep in an airtight tin for about 5 days.

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