Out Of The Box Brownies: Magical brownie recipes that start with a box
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Frankenstein’s Monster Brownies

October 09, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Fun For Kids, Holiday, Mint, Nut-Free, Off the Beaten Path, Products

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The mad-scientist Doctor Frankenstein would have loved these irresistible Halloween-party brownies; they’re creepy, green, decorated Mint Oreos on top of a delicious brownie. What kid (or adult) could resist this electrifying Halloween dessert? Have fun assembling your minty Oreo Frankenstein’s monsters!

20121009-164922.jpgINGREDIENTS

  • 1 large box of brownie mix (look for one that makes a 13″ x 9″ pan)
  • Eggs, oil, and water as called for on the box
  • 1 bag Mint Oreos (the ones with the perfectly creepy green minty tint!)
  • Sharp, serrated knife
  • 2 T butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
  • Dribble of milk or water

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DIRECTIONS

Make, bake, and cool your brownies as directed on the box. While your brownies are baking or cooling, you can do most of the following steps.

Based on the size of your pan, you will probably need to make 24 Frankenstein’s monsters. My pan is 13″ by 9″, and it was a perfect fit to make six rows of four Frankenstein monsters (requiring a total of 24 Mint Oreos). Place all 24 Oreos onto a clean working surface, preferably a cutting board.

First, take the tops off of the Oreos. You will need most of the tops, so don’t eat them just yet!

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 Slice off 4 bits of the green Mint Oreo icing to reveal monster ears! Do this 24 times.

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You could do the remaining decorations (for hair, eyebrows, eyes, and mouth) with tinted icing. If that’s what you want to do, use the really easy icing recipe below. For a fun, 3-dimensional effect, try making the monsters’ hair, eyebrows, and eyes by using pieces of the dark Oreo cookies. Directions are as follows.

Using a sharp SERRATED knife, slice the Oreo cookie into a small rectangle. A serrated knife gives a good sawing action with clean, sharp cuts. With 4 small cuts, voila! You have Frankenstein’s monster hair! You’ll be cutting hair 24 times, so get used to eyeballing the size you like.

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Match the hair to the top of the head and press it in. You’ll need to do this 24 times, too.

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Cut 24 more rectangles from the Oreos, but make them smaller and much narrower than the hair rectangles. These smaller rectangles will serve as monster eyebrows that indicate how angry he is (or perhaps how misunderstood he is)…ROWR! Press the eyebrows into the green icing. 24 times, of course.

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 Make 48 eyeballs by taking small-ish Oreo crumbs and rolling them between your fingertips.

Then insert matching pairs of eyeballs onto each monster.

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Now it’s time to make your Frankenstein’s monster mouth, using a simple icing recipe. Start by smooshing 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine against the side of a bowl until it is smooth.

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Sift 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar into the bowl.

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Add a small splash of milk or water.

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Mix until it is a thick, smooth consistency.

If it’s too thin, add sugar. If too thick, add more liquid.

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Spoon the icing into a plastic baggie.

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Using scissors, snip off a tiny corner of the baggie.

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Use the baggie as a pastry bag to make angry monster mouths on each cookie.

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Ridiculously cute!

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When you’re done piping all 24 mouths, snip off a bit more of the baggie and use the larger hole to make 24 icing dots on your cooled brownies. These dots will hold your monsters in place, even during transport and cutting.

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Your Frankenstein’s Monster Brownies are now ready to scare and delight your Halloween guests with their intimidating mint-and-chocolate stares!

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If you like this recipe, you may like these recipes:

Minty Moonlight Graveyard Brownie

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie

As if the pumpkin and cheesecake swirls aren't enough to make you shiver in your shoes, the sweet and spicy glaze will make you cringe with delight.

Minty Moonlight Graveyard Brownies

October 06, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Fun For Kids, Holiday, Mint, Nut-Free, Off the Beaten Path

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With Halloween on its way, what could be better than a graveyard full of marshmallow ghosts, some chocolate gravestones, and mint-flavored grass to cover the brownie earth underneath? Celebrate October and tickle your ghostly goblins with this tasty kid-friendly recipe for Minty Moonlight Graveyard Brownies.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large box brownie mix (I used Duncan Hines, the 13 x 9 family size)
  • Oil, eggs, and water as called for on the box directions
  • 1 tub pre-made dark chocolate frosting (I used Duncan Hines Home-Style)
  • 2 tsp mint extract
  • a TON of green sugar sprinkles, 1-2 ounces
  • 9 Keebler Deluxe Graham cookies (chocolate-covered graham cookies)
  • Optional cookie icing: 2 T soft butter, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sprinkle of water or milk
  • 1 package of 9 marshmallow ghosts (by Peeps, the same company that makes Easter chicks)

DIRECTIONS

Be sure you’re using a large or family-size mix, one that will work in a 9″ x 13″ pan. Mix batter as directed on the box. Pour batter into a VERY well-greased pan and bake as directed. Let cool.

The following step is optional, but it will make it easier for you to decorate, cut, and serve. Using a knife and/or spatula, carefully loosen all 4 edges of your entire pan of brownies. Work a spatula underneath to loosen the bottom. Keep at it until it feels loose and move-able. Using a couple of spatulas, and as many hands as you can recruit, carefully move the singular, massive brownie from the baking pan onto a flat serving tray that will impress your trick-or-treaters. I used the “reversible-lid-and-serving-tray” piece from this awesome two-piece Longaberger ceramic stoneware set.

To save the need to wash another bowl, pour 2 teaspoons of mint extract directly into the tub of frosting. Mix thoroughly. Mmmmm, minty!

Cover your graveyard . . . er, brownies with this dark layer of dirt . . . er, frosting.

Quickly, while the chocolate frosting is still moist, sprinkle your green sugar crystals onto the surface. This will create a grassy-green, cemetery-yard effect. I wanted mine to look really grassy, so I was VERY generous and used about 1.5 ounces of sprinkles.

Soon, you will push your cookie headstones into the grass. But, first, you may want to write “R.I.P.” (for “Rest In Peace”) onto your headstones. It’s completely optional, but definitely fun. To do this, you’ll need to mix up some icing. It only takes a few minutes.

Take 2 tablespoons of soft butter and smoosh it against the edge of a bowl until it’s smooth. Add about 1/2 cup of sifted confectioner’s sugar, and dribble in a tiny bit of milk or water. Mix it up. You want the icing to be pretty stiff, but still easily squeezed from a pastry bag. If it’s too thick, add more liquid. If it’s too thin, add more sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t have a pastry bag? No big deal! Spoon the icing into the corner of a plastic baggie. (Don’t know why I can’t say “bag;” I guess “baggie” just feels more natural to me.) Use scissors to snip off the TINIEST BIT of the baggie’s corner, leaving a tiny hole through which you’ll squeeze the icing.

 

 

 

 

This super-inexpensive, super-quick, icing-filled baggie is your new writing utensil. Use the icing to write “RIP” onto the top edge of your gravestone cookies — or make any headstone design you like. Steady, now.

Push your decorated headstones slightly down into the crust of the brownies, allowing them to stand up on their own. I made 3 rows of 3, allowing room for my Peeps-brand marshmallow ghosts to float above each grave. Here’s what the box of Peeps Ghosts looks like from the side. (Not every store in my area had them; I found these in the Giant Eagle candy aisle.)

Peeps brand ghosts

To help the ghosts stand up — even during a rough transport — I added a toothpick into the bottom of each ghost.

Notice how each ghost is now floating on top of its grave. Spooky!

No matter what angle you look at it, this is a fun Halloween dessert that will delight 18 kids.

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Let your imagination run wild. Add a couple of candy pumpkins, the ones made from the same stuff as candy corn. Add a gnarled stick from your yard so it looks like a creaky old cemetery tree. You could even dig a hole into the brownie surface, leaving big brown “dirt clumps” that look like an open grave.

When I cut and served this dessert, each kid got either a ghost or a headstone. Everybody was happy. I hope you and your favorite trick-or-treaters enjoy this ghost-in-the-graveyard Halloween dessert special: Minty Moonlight Graveyard Brownie!

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If you like this recipe, you may also like these:

Frankenstein’s Monster Brownie

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie

As if the pumpkin and cheesecake swirls aren't enough to make you shiver in your shoes, the sweet and spicy glaze will make you cringe with delight.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie

October 24, 2011 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Blonde Brownie, Cream Cheese, Decadent, Fruit, Holiday, Nut-Free

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I posted this image on my Facebook page and got several dozen elated responses in just a few hours. I guess most of my friends were not scared of this Halloween treat.

As if the pumpkin and cheesecake swirls aren't enough to make you shiver in your shoes, the sweet and spicy glaze will cause you to cringe with delight.

INGREDIENTS

Pumpkin Batter Ingredients

  • 3/4 box spice cake mix (about 3 cups)
  • 1 29-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin (I used about 20-22 ounces of it)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Cheesecake Batter Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • (optional) 3 – 4 Tbsp ricotta cheese
  • (optional) 1 – 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 box white cake mix (about 2 cups)
  • 1 box cheesecake-flavor powdered pudding mix (I used Jello sugar-free instant)

Spice Glaze Ingredients (optional)

  • 1.5 – 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • small amount of milk to attain a glaze consistency (about 1/8 – 1/4 cup)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice (ok to leave out one, if you prefer)

 

How-To Video:

DIRECTIONS

Mix together pumpkin batter ingredients until smooth. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Don’t use a 9×9 pan; that will be too small and will result in a brownie that is too thick to bake evenly.

Divide the cheesecake ingredients into “wet” (egg, oil, water, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and sour cream) and “dry” (cake mix and pudding mix). Mix together the wet ingredients first, stirring for about a minute, until it looks like a creamy blob of perfection. (You know you want a taste, but keep yer mitts outta there!) Then add the dry ingredients, blending until smooth.

Now the swirly fun begins. Drop spoonfuls of the cheesecake batter onto the pumpkin batter that is already in the baking pan. Then use a knife to swirl the batters together.

Bake at 350 F for about 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out almost clean.

If you’re a sweet-tooth, mix together the glaze ingredients until smooth and drizzle it on top of the brownie crust.  Not only is this a great idea for a Halloween treat, but also a wonderful change of pace for Thanksgiving or Christmas! Have fun with this recipe, my brownie minions!