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decadent chocolate

December A Month of Decadent Days – Chocoholic Goodness Here on the Suncoast!

| Angela Naff |

December 8th was National Brownie Day, and December 13th is National Cocoa Day, just to name two decadent celebrations this month. In order to mark these delightful occasions for all chocolate enthusiasts, we decided to seek out some new recipes! What better way to celebrate sweet and gooey treats than by indulging in some homemade brownie goodness? To celebrate today in style, we’ve curated five mouthwatering brownie recipes that will satisfy every craving and make your National Brownie Day celebration truly memorable.

Raspberry Cocoa Smoothie

If you’re looking for a cocoa fix in a lighter form, our Raspberry Cocoa Smoothie is the answer. This refreshing beverage combines the richness of cocoa with the tartness of fresh raspberries and the creaminess of yogurt. It’s a delightful way to start your day or recharge in the afternoon, offering a balance of flavors that will leave you wanting more.


  • ⅓ cup Frozen Raspberries
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Almond Butter or peanut butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Maple Syrup (note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon Chia Seeds or hemp powder
  • ⅔ cup Ice Cubes
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Peppermint Swirl Brownies

Embrace the holiday spirit with Peppermint Swirl Brownies that combine the richness of chocolate with the refreshing taste of peppermint. The festive swirls not only add a pop of color but also a burst of flavor, making these brownies perfect for the December celebration.

Peppermint Brownies
The Spruce Eats / Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ana Kelly, Prop Stylist Christine Keely


For the Peppermint Swirl:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 to 3 drops liquid or gel red food coloring

For the Brownies:

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup (53 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2/3 cup (87 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup crushed peppermint candies, such as Star Brite mints or candy canes, divided

Decadent Hot Chocolate

There’s something magical about a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and our Decadent Hot Chocolate recipe takes this beloved beverage to new heights. With the perfect blend of whole milk, heavy cream, high-quality cocoa powder, and a hint of vanilla, every sip is a luxurious experience. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of chocolate shavings for the ultimate cozy treat.


  • 6 cups (1440ml) whole milk (1% or 2% are OK)
  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • toppings: marshmallows, chocolate candies, candy canes, chocolate syrup, salted caramel, etc

Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies

Elevate your brownie experience by incorporating the delightful combination of sweet and salty. Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies offer a perfect balance of gooey caramel, crunchy pretzels, and decadent chocolate. The result is a flavor explosion that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

Photo Courtesy of two peas & their pod


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1  cup chopped pretzels
  • 1/3 cup salted caramel sauce
  • Whole pretzels, for topping the brownies
  • Extra sea salt, for sprinkling on the top of brownies
  • Ice cream and extra salted caramel sauce, for serving, if desired

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie Bars

Infuse a fruity twist into your National Brownie Day celebration with Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie Bars. The tanginess of fresh raspberries complements the creamy cheesecake layer, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.


  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp; 113g) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (62g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces (226g) full-fat brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (80g) raspberry preserves or raspberry jam*
  • optional: 1–2 drops pink or red gel food coloring
  • optional: fresh raspberries, for topping

Espresso Walnut Brownies

For the coffee lovers out there, Espresso Walnut Brownies offers a delightful combination of rich chocolate and robust coffee flavors. The addition of walnuts provides a satisfying crunch, making these brownies a true indulgence for this month of fabulous desserts.


  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts (divided)
  • 1 cup raw unsalted almonds (roughly chopped)
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups medjool or deglet noor dates (pitted)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder OR raw cacao if you have it
  • 1-2 tsp espresso powder or finely ground coffee (depending on preference)
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Celebrate decadent December in style with these delectable recipes that showcase the versatility of everyone’s favorite chocolate treat. Whether you prefer the classic fudgy goodness, a festive peppermint swirl, a sweet and salty combination, a fruity twist, or a coffee-infused delight, these brownie recipes are sure to make your December 8th and 13th celebrations extra special. Get ready to bake, indulge, and savor the joy of National Brownie Day and National Cocoa Day!

Feature Photo from Deposit Photos

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