I reallyreallyreally love Christmas music.
From the oldies to the super-oldies to the eighties to the manufactured pop to the R&B ballads to the easy listening to the duets to the Paul McCartney to the Charlie Brown, I enjoy them all.
(Click, click, click! Don't be a Grinch.)
That is, except for the ones I absolutelycannotstand:
Madonna's version of Santa Baby (see also: nails on a chalkboard),
Sippin' in Seattle's Latte Land by Duffy Bishop,
The Christmas Shoes by Newsong,
and Christmas in the Northwest by Brenda White
Unfortunately (?), the first 48 seconds of a random ice skating video was the only audio I could find for the ridiculous coffee-themed adaptation of Walking in a Winter Wonderland. Which obviously means that The Rulers of the Internet agree with me about how awful it is.
Sometimes I buy songs to put on my iPod that I don't necessarily like, just so I can play them whenever I want to
You do that too, right? Please say yes. If other people don't do this, how am I going to continue to justify this being on my iPod?
Anyway, this should explain why a few days ago I bought a couple of The Christmas Songs I AbosolutelyCannotStand.
At work, we're allowed to listen to the music of our choice before the shop opens, and it seemed like the perfect day to
I plugged my iPod in, selected my Christmas playlist, and hit shuffle.
The first song that came on was The Christmas Shoes. Weird, right? I just bought it that morning! But it achieved the level of ridiculousness I was going for. Mission accomplished.
The next song? Christmas in the Northwest. Okay, fine. Now that the funny/ridiculous/ironic songs were over, I was ready for some timeless holiday classics.
Except, the music stopped playing. Which made no sense because there were at least fifty songs on the playlist. But whatever.
I selected my Christmas playlist again and hit shuffle. First song? Christmas in the Northwest. Second song? The Christmas Shoes. End playlist.
I've tried everything. Deleting the songs and re-adding them. Re-syncing my iPod. Deleting the playlist and making a new one. No matter what I do, these are the only two songs that will play when I shuffle my Christmas playlist.
I guess this is my karmic punishment for trying to be ironic. Helppp.
In times like these, you need brownies to numb the pain (of your bleeding ears). Bite-sized brownies with toffee bits and caramel frosting, to be exact. But seriously? Chocolate + toffee + caramel = You should definitely make these even if you aren't stranded on The Island of Misfit Christmas Songs.
See what I did there? Ha.
Toffee Brownie Bites with Caramel Buttercream
For the brownies:
1 box Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 & 1/4 cups toffee bits, divided
For the caramel buttercream:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
3 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
1. Preheat the oven according to the directions on the brownie mix packaging. Coat a mini cupcake pan with nonstick spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Add all but 1/2 cup of the brownie mix, and whisk until smooth. Combine the reserved brownie mix with 1 cup toffee bits in a small bowl, then whisk this mixture into the brownie batter until fully incorporated. This additional step will prevent the toffee bits from sinking to the bottom of the batter.
3. Spoon about 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each cup of the prepared pan. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center brownie comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
4. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, cream the butter for about one minute with an electric hand mixer at medium speed. Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing at low speed for about one minute more; the mixture will look dry and crumbly. Add the milk and continue mixing until the frosting comes together, adding additional milk if needed. Add the caramel and mix until completely incorporated.
5. Once the brownies are completely cool, pipe a swirl of frosting onto each one and garnish with the remaining toffee bits.
Makes about 30 brownie bites.
FTC Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program, I received Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix at no cost; however, all opinions stated are my own.