The weekend before Thanksgiving, Benzo and I had some family over for dinner that we knew we wouldn’t get to see for the holiday. I went back and forth on what to make for dessert before finally settling on brownies from a mix with a cookies and cream variation that was on the back of the box. Not very original I know, but it seemed easy and it looked delicious.
At church Benzo had signed up to bake a sweet potato pie for a dinner that was being delivered to a homeless shelter. He decided to make two pies so we could keep one since neither of us had ever had sweet potato pie before. So if the brownies didn’t turn out I knew we would have the pie as a back-up.
Of course the inevitable happens. Both the brownies and the pie were a flop!
I don’t know what went wrong with the brownies. I made them exactly as the recipe said and stirred in a cup of chopped up Oreos into the batter just as the variation said. When I baked them though the cookie bits melted and got all hard in places and pooled into liquidy chocolate puddles in others. The taste was fine but there was no way a perfect square brownie was coming out of that pan. (I proceeded to dig at it with a spoon over the next week.)
Benzo made the pies all by himself and the first pie for the church turned out great. He made it exactly as directed in the recipe. The second pie we made dairy-free for me and also decided to go full-on vegan substituting the eggs to see what would happen. Well whatever we did the pie boiled over in the oven and made a huge mess!
When a pie is boiling over the side of the dish do you keep baking it or take it out? We tried putting foil down in the bottom of the oven so the pie could at least finish baking and we could possibly salvage it, but it just kept on boiling over so we ended up taking it out. We tasted it later and the flavor was nice but the consistency seemed off.
So what to do? Two failed desserts and company coming over! Luckily earlier that day I had bought some pre-made brownie bites at Costco. Have you ever seen these things? They have them at Target too. They look like little brownies that were baked in a mini muffin tin. And they’re dairy-free!
Though I briefly considered just throwing the brownie bites on a plate and calling it good, I decided to fancy them up with some peanut butter frosting and chocolate chips on top.
I used this peanut butter frosting recipe, subbing EB and soy creamer for the butter and milk to make it dairy free. A half batch frosted 16 bites with a little frosting left over.
Voila! Peanut butter frosted brownie bites. Oh they were delicious. My little brother looked at me with a very serious expression and goes “these things are good.”
I used pre-made brownie bites but if you wanted you could easily make your own brownie bites using any brownie batter mix and a mini-muffin tin. Just know that they will bake a lot faster so keep an eye on them in the oven.
And there are so many possible variations for the frosting and topping! Other options I considered:
- Mint buttercream with mini chocolate chips
- Vanilla buttercream with chopped Oreos mixed in or sprinkled on top
- Mint buttercream with chopped candy canes
- Marshmallow fluff with graham craker crumbs
A plate of different kinds of frosted brownie bites would be fun for the holidays and something different that the standard plate of cookies.
What are some other ideas for brownie toppings? Something with cherries maybe?