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Holidays are hectic! From endless parties, decorating, and frazzled shopping (or creating) for the perfect gifts, the holidays seem to always pass by far too quickly. I am lucky I recently got to just relax and enjoy some wonderful time in the beautiful mountains of Beaver Creek, Colorado and enjoy some delicious desserts, paired with some delicious beverages. One of the best parts of Duncan Hines is that you can have a fabulous treat in less than 20 minutes (or just a little more varying on bake time, but well under 20 minutes active time).
Our family LOVES brownies- and I wanted to try a few new ideas to add to our favorite Duncan Hines brownie mix! I hope you enjoy these wonderful treats as much as we did! I know how hard finding the right drink can be to pair with desserts. You don’t want to serve something so sweet it overpowers your treat- but you also don’t want something so dry it completely clashes.
I’ve laid out a list of my favorite drink pairings that are perfect for any brownie creation at the bottom of this post. I know not all of my readers drink caffeine or alcohol because of religious beliefs, personal choice, or current pregnancies (like me)- so I have tried to include lots of fun options for everyone! In the spirit of a ski theme, each list represents a ski run! Pick the green circle drinks if you are serving to children, or you do not drink caffeine or alcohol. The blue square is for you if you’d like a little caffeine (or decaf coffee). The black diamond is dedicated to adult drinks.
First, I made a package of brownies just according to the box directions (so easy, and SO delicious!!!). I then topped them with the brand new Duncan Hines Vanilla Decadent Glaze– simply microwave for thirty seconds, and then drizzle on your dessert! Let me tell you, these were a HUGE hit. The glaze isn’t overpowering, and is a wonderful way to “dress up” a simple dessert- without spending a ton of time. I found it looks best to cut and plate the brownies and THEN drizzle the glaze over them for an effortlessly elegant look.
For sweeter brownies like these, I prefer a drink that is slightly bitter- a dry sparkling cider (pear, blackberry or pomegranate), dark chocolate cocoa (the no sugar kind- you can mix in some peppermint syrup), coffee or tea (with a little whiskey for the adult version), or a red wine that is slightly sweet (Argentinian/Chilean/Australian reds aren’t overpowering, and VERY affordable!). I know, I know- this is not a traditional dessert wine pairing, but I prefer a rich red wine to pair with anything chocolate! My husband loves to pair smoked porters to cut sweet treats- try one of Alaskan’s releases with this brownie!
One of my favorite treats has to be a s’more. I’ve seen a ton of s’more brownie ideas, but none that used a brownie AS the s’more- I just had to try one! I simply spread some graham cracker crumb crust (melted butter and grahams) on a baking sheet, and topped with Duncan Hines brownie mix (made according to package directions). I then baked the brownies until they passed the toothpick test and let them cool completely. Once cool, I cut the brownies into squares, and used them as s’mores! Just toast your mallow, and enjoy!
These turned out wonderfully- they are a little less sweet than a traditional s’more, and a lot more rich. I love the flavor a Duncan Hines brownie gives to s’mores- it is rich, chocolatey, and absolutely sinful! If only Duncan Hines made a caramel glaze…. that would take these seriously over the top!!
Since the grahams make this dessert a little less sweet, you can try out sweeter drinks here without completely blowing out your palate. Hot Chocolate (with flavored syrup) or warm milk, sweet sparkling ciders like apple and grape, coffee (with Bailey’s or Peppermint Schnapps), a slightly sweet Reisling, or a sweet milk stout or toffee porter (I particularly like Lefthand Brewery’s Milk Stout). You could also opt for a traditional brandy or port as well.
What is YOUR favorite drink to pair with brownies?