Whether you need treats for a cookie platter or goodies for Santa, these Christmas Tree Brownies feature fudgy brownies, cream cheese frosting, and candy cane "trunks" for a fun and festive holiday treat!
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 35minutes
Total Time 1hour5minutes
Servings 24brownies (depending on how big you cut your trees)
6ouncesunsweetened chocolatechopped (I use Baker's chocolate squares)
3tablespoonsinstant coffee granules
2tablespoonspure vanilla extract
1 1/4cupsall-purpose flourDIVIDED
Cream Cheese Frosting
Mini candy canes, the straight sides broken off
Assorted sprinkles & mini candies, for decorating
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour a rimmed 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan.
In the top of a double broiler (or in a large, heat-safe bowl set over a pot of simmering water), melt together the butter, 16 ounces of chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate, stirring until smooth. Set aside to slightly cool.
In a large bowl, blend together eggs, instant coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Slowly and gradually stir the warm butter/chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend into chocolate mixture until just combined. In a small bowl, toss remaining 12 ounces chocolate chips with remaining 1/4 cup flour. Stir into chocolate batter and spread into prepared sheet pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf or counter to remove any trapped air bubbles. Bake for 15 more minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, taking care not to overbake. Allow to cool completetely.
Once brownies are cool, cut into Christmas tree-shaped triangles. Use a thin metal spatula to remove from cookie sheet onto a platter.
To decorate, insert a straight piece of mini candy cane into the base of each tree.
Scoop Cream Cheese Frosting (or your favorite frosting) into a gallon-sized freezer baggie. Push frosting into a corner of the bag and cut off a 1/2-inch piece to create a hole. Use as a piping bag to pipe frosting onto each brownie. Place brownie upside down, start at long, flat side, and pipe frosting back and forth going down the brownie, all the way to the tip (where the star would go).
Use a variety of sprinkles, leftover crushed candy canes, and small candies to decorate the trees. Store refrigerated in a tightly covered container.
The instant coffee granules give the brownies a deeper, richer, chocolate flavor, as opposed to making the brownies taste like coffee. You may reduce the amount used if you wish, but when I've tried doing so, I didn't think the brownies tasted as decadent.
If you prefer nuts in your brownies, you may add 3 cups chopped walnuts (or your favorite nut) to the step where you toss the remaining chocolate chips with the remaining flour.
You may tint your frosting with green food coloring, if you wish.
You will have lots of leftover brownie scraps from cutting out the trees. I'm sure you will think of some way to dispose of them... ;)