HazelnutBrowniesSo, yes, the ur-brownies that only get made for parties? I’ve made them three times in the past week. Since we’re in the midst of the holiday party season, I thought revisiting their charms briefly would be smart. First, volume: This is a huge number of brownies that will make your dessert tray. Second, versatility: the batter is so dense it can accomodate almost any mix-in–so go nuts, or crazy, or bananas. (Well, maybe not bananas…) Third, presentation: even with whole nuts the brownies, which have to be chilled before portioning, cut clean and pretty.

So, what’s already been done? Let’s review: there is, of course, the published version with a layer of mints. These got made for Sunday’s condo association party, and were good enough for neighbor to come back to ask for the recipe. Then, the hazelnut version for the antipasti-themed launch party. Then, the batch laced with cayenne, cinnamon, and brazil nuts–the brownie version of a riot-inducing Mexican chocolate torte–for a taco party Friday. Leftovers of the latter have been forced on all comers in addition to getting diced into tiny cubes as the base for a ridiculously decadent hot fudge brownie sundae. Nice.

In any case, consider this dispensation to take the brownie base and have your way with it… and let us know what you come up with!