Candy Cane Kiss Brownies

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These decadent miniature brownies have a Candy Cane Hershey Kiss baked into the center of them, making for a sweet, pepperminty surprise. They’re topped with striped vanilla buttercream and some chunky sanding sugar—it’s like a winter wonderland in one little brownie!

For the brownies you’ll need:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1 c. flour

For the buttercream you’ll need:

Two sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla extract (or peppermint would also be delicious!) 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (F).

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave safe bowl for 90 seconds to two minutes, on high. Stir the mixture until all the chocolate is melted and combined with the butter. Stir in the sugar until it’s well combined, and then add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and salt, and stir until creamy. Finally, add the flour and stir until just combined.

Fill paper-lined mini cupcake tins with a heaping tablespoon of the brownie batter. Press one Candy Cane Hershey Kiss into the center, and cover with a little bit more of the batter, so the candy is fully covered (the little peak of the kiss might be visible, that’s okay). Bake for about 23-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the brownie comes out clean. Keep an eye on them, you don’t want to overbake.

Allow to cool, then make the buttercream.

Whip the butter until creamy, then add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until it’s fluffy. Whip in the vanilla and then give it a taste and make sure you don’t need more of anything.

To get the candy cane stripes, paint a couple of red stripes of food coloring gel straight up the side of a pastry bag. Then fill with buttercream, and pipe onto the brownies as usual. (If you’re doing this method, you may need to add another stick of butter and cup of powdered sugar to the buttercream recipe to ensure you’ll have enough for all the brownies—piping uses more frosting than just spreading it on.)

Finish with some chunky sugar sprinkles for a frosty touch. And enjoy!

imageThis recipe appears in my cookbook Bake it in a Cupcake: 50 Treats With a Surprise Inside. It’s out now on Andrews McMeel Publishing and available at your favorite local bookstore as well as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.org!