Delicious festive brownies cut into Christmas Tree shapes! They would make the perfect edible gift, or add a colorful flair to dress up any holiday table.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pans
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Sixteen 1 1/2-inch pieces mini candy canes
White sprinkles and small Sno-Caps (nonpareil candy-covered chocolates) for decorating
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter - room temperature
Pinch of fine salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon whole milk
24 drops green food coloring
1 drop red food coloring
Brownies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper.
Stir together the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla and eggs in a medium size bowl. In another bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and divide the batter between the two pans, smoothing the tops. Bake until the brownies begin to gain a crust around the edges, pull away from the edge, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean - about 35 to 40 minutes.
Place the pans on cooling racks and let the brownies cool completely (about 1 hour). Cut each circle into 8 equal triangles with a knife. Use a small offset spatula or pie server to lift each triangle out of the pan.
Frosting: Combine the confectioners sugar, butter, and salt in a large bowl. Mix on low speed until mostly incorporated. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high and mix until smooth. Loosen the consistency with milk if needed. Add 24 drops green food coloring and 1 drop red food coloring and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Set aside.
To assemble: Using the tip of a paring knife or a skewer, poke a small hole along the bottom edge of each brownie. Insert a candy cane "trunk" into each hole.
Fill the piping bag with the frosting and cut 1/4 inch off the tip. Using a zig-zag motion, pipe the frosting from the base to the tip of each tree. Decorate the trees with sprinkles and top each with a Sno-Cap as the star.
(And a special note - just to make this recipe a little simpler, you could start with a boxed brownie mix and follow those instructions to make the brownies)
Adapted from The Food Network