Warning: these butterscotch brownies with 3 nuts and drunken raisins are highly addictive.
I like adding a personal touch to Christmas gifts. It’s like saying, “You’re special.” This year, it’s a variation of last year’s Food for the Gods. Instead of sultanas and walnuts, I used rum-soaked raisins and three kinds of nuts.
If you want to bake a smaller batch for family consumption, you have use half or a quarter of the ingredients specified in the recipe.
- 1 and 1/2 cups raisins
- 8 tablespoons good-quality rum (I recommend Bacardi)
- 170 grams sliced almonds
- 120 grams salted pili nuts
- 120 grams salted cashew nuts
- 2 and 1/2 cups butter melted
- 7 cups lightly (not loosely) packed dark brown sugar
- 2 cups granulated (white) sugar
- 7 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 10 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 10 eggs
- 5 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Place the raisins in a shallow bowl. Pour in the rum. Soak for a about an hour or until the raisins swell. Strain and discard any excess liquid. Place raisins in a dry bowl and sprinkle with two tablespoonfuls of flour. Toss to coat each piece well. Tossing them with flour will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan during baking.
While the raisins soak, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Place the cashew nuts on a chopping board. Roll over with a rolling pin to achieve a coarse grind. Do the same with the pili nuts.
Place the cashew, pili and almonds in a bowl and sprinkle with two tablespoonfuls of flour. Toss to coat each piece well.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla essence. Add the flour in batches, mixing with a wooden spoon. The batter will be very heavy, your arm might cramp but the result will be fantastic so never mind the pain. Stir in the rum-soaked raisins and nuts.
Cover the bottom and sides of two 11 and 1/2" x 16" x 1" baking pans with non-stick baking paper. Allowing overhangs on the long sides is useful so that you can slide off the uncut brownies on a cooling rack in one piece.
Pour the batter into the pans scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure you get all of the batter into the pans. Level off with a spatula. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Watch the last few minutes closely so that just as soon as it’s sufficiently baked, you can turn off the oven at once and take out the pans. Note that if your oven cannot accommodate two pans at the same time, you will need to do the baking in two batches.
Cool the uncut brownies in the pan for ten minutes to firm it up a bit. Holding one end of the baking paper overhang with one hand and holding the pan at a 45-degree angle with the other, pull out the uncut brownies and slide onto a cooling rack. Cool for another 15 minutes or so. While still a bit warm, cut into two-inch squares. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Place on festive colored paper cups or wrap in colored Japanese paper.