Monday, February 20, 2017

Sand Art Brownies

For Christmas gifts this year, I decided to try making Sand Art Brownies. In previous years, I've made pound cakes as gifts for a few friends. I got the idea from a good friend in Florida and she kindly shared her recipe. I'm not sure where she got it originally.

The idea is that you fill up quart canning jars with a basic brownie recipe mix. As you fill it, the ingredients create different colored layers which is more interesting that a brownie box mix. It makes a cute gift. I've been similar ones for sale for $10-12!

Her original recipe would fill 48 quart jars (yikes!) so I divided it down to make 12 this time. I might try 48 jars another year.

I bought a box of 12 new quart jars for this project, and even found them on sale for $8. I washed and dried the jars and lids before I started filling them.

Here's the original recipe if you feel brave enough to tackle 4 dozen.
25 lbs. flour
20 lbs. sugar
15 lbs. brown sugar
46 oz. cocoa
180 oz. chocolate chips
180 oz. white chocolate chips
salt
For one dozen jars, this is what I bought and supplemented a little towards the end with things from my pantry. I've included prices I paid at Aldi. I bought organic ingredients where I could.
5 lbs. flour (plus 1 lb. from my pantry) -- $3.49
4 lbs. sugar -- $2.89
4 lbs. brown sugar -- $1.98
8 oz. cocoa (plus 2 oz. from my pantry) -- $2.19
4 x 12 oz. packages chocolate chips -- $6.00
4 x 12 oz. packages white chocolate chips -- $6.00
Here's the method for layering the jars. I found that using a funnel really helped.
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Then, you'll want to print out instructions for your recipients so they'll know how to make them. I punched a small hole in the paper and tied it to the jar lid with a red ribbon.
Mix contents of jar with
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup oil
3 eggs
Bake in a 13x9 (for thin brownies) or a 9x9 (for thick brownies) for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees

In the end this turned out to be a cheap (sorry to those who received one - now you know how cheap I am) and easy and fast. Each jar cost about $2.50. This was just what I needed this time. I decided we needed to test it out before I gave them as gifts, so with some of the remaining ingredients I mixed up a batch for us. I used butter and our fresh eggs.