Aren’t these Santa Hat Brownies just so cute? Thanks to Erica’s Sweet Tooth for the inspiration. I was looking for a fun and simple holiday treat and I ran across a recipe on her website. They’re so good and easy to make, especially since I bought Trader Joe’s Ready to Bake brownie mix (just pour the ready-made brownie batter in an 8-X 8-inch pan and bake for 22-25 minutes). You can use ready-made brownie bites or bake a pan of your favorite brownies. I whipped up some vanilla-mascarpone buttercream to simulate the white trim on the hats. Voila! A festive dessert to get everyone into the spirit of the holidays. It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!
Update: November 17, 2013
This year, I plan to bake these Santa Hat Brownies and other holiday treats to give as gifts to friends and co-workers. Since I will be making homemade gifts, I thought it would be a great idea to make the gift tags too. I want to make recipe cards so I can easily share the recipe and it could double as the gift tag as well. The card below is the one I designed for the Santa Hat Brownies using Picmonkey, an online photo editing tool. Pretty neat, huh? I love Picmonkey and already use it to add text and overlays to the photos on this blog. For my recipe cards/gift tags, I am going to print the photo of the food on one side and the recipe on the other. This is going to be a real fun project!
Note: I have been paying for Picmonkey’s monthly Royale Plan for the past year. Picmonkey provided me with a free month’s membership ($4.99 value) to use them to make these recipe cards. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own. (Product Review Disclaimer).
Santa Hat Brownies
Yields 12-16 brownies
1 pan of your favorite brownies, cooled and cut into desired size and shape (I used a round cutter)
12-16 small strawberries, cleaned and hulled
vanilla-mascarpone buttercream (recipe below)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2-1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and salt. Add 2-1/2 cups of sugar, half a cup at a time and continue beating until smooth. Add more sugar, if needed to reach desired consistency and sweetness.
To assemble, pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream on top of each brownie. Cut off the base of a strawberry so it is flat and place it upside down on each brownie, pushing slightly to secure in place. Top the tip of the strawberry with a dot of buttercream to finish the santa hat.
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