Easy Christmas Tree Brownies

Easy Christmas Tree Brownies

Sugar cut-out cookies take on a whole new life with these inventive cookies made with a simple and delicious vanilla sugar cookie dough.

Don’t want to spend hours outlining, flooding, and decorating cookies with royal icing to get a pretty decorated effect? You need my easy cutout cookies! It’s so simple to colour a portion of the dough with gel food colouring and then play jigsaw with a Christmas tree cutter.

These cookies are a great testament to what the mind can dream up when it’s not otherwise occupied. I had the idea for them (as well as some forthcoming cupcakes!) while at a boring just not my kind of music gig with Lee. I was thinking about new and exciting christmas baking ideas that are things I haven’t done before. In fairness, Lee won my heart during an indie/alternative (now admitted) phase, and then moved onto liking some much more shouty music, while I still like indie/alternative/folk and a bit of pop!

Simple vanilla sugar cookies are ideal for so many situations! They’re delicious with a cup of tea and hold their shape really well with lots of room for sprinkles and frosting. In the past I’ve played around with royal icing (lovely Bridget at Bake at 350 makes the most incredible iced cookies!) to decorate cookies, which looks stunning, but is quite time consuming. It’s right for a really special occasion, but not for everyday biscuits in my book.

For these Christmas Tree Cookies, half of the cookie dough is easily coloured forest green by adding about a third of a teaspoon of green gel food colouring (it’s the same stuff I use to make my Rainbow Cake!). I often get mine from eBay for a couple of pounds, or you can try your local cake decorating shop.You can wear clean rubber gloves if you’re worried about your hand getting a bit green, and just gently knead the colouring into the dough. It will go tie-dye at first, but keep kneading until the colour is completely even and the dough is a forest green colour.

To make these cookies even prettier, I also coat the edges with white chocolate and then decorate with pretty Christmas sprinkles.

I got my small Christmas tree cookie cutters from eBay – they were just £1 for three! To ensure that the cookies don’t stick to the cutter, dip the cutter into the flour between each cookie. Assembling these cookies is so easy – simply cut large circular cookies out of the vanilla dough, and then use your Christmas tree cutter to cut a christmas tree shaped hole in the centre, into which you’ll pop a Christmas tree cut out of the green coloured dough. It’s actually incredibly easy – they just slot into each other, and once they bake, since the cookies expand, they’ll be completely one cookie!

Easy Christmas Tree Brownies
Easy Christmas Tree Brownies

Ingredients

  • 250g / 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 250g / 1 cup plus one heaped tablespoon caster or golden caster sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 500g / 4 cups sifted plain flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • Tree green gel food colouring, such as Sugarflair Christmas Green or Holly Green
  • 50g white chocolate / just under a third of a cup
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. First, make the biscuit dough. Combine your butter, which needs to be incredibly soft, with the sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the two eggs along with the vanilla bean paste, and then sift in the flour and mix with a large spatula – the dough will be quite stiff, but keep going until its all incorporated. Divide the dough into two equal portions, and then pop half onto some clingfilm and wrap it up tightly and put it into the fridge.
  2. Next, add about a third of a teaspoon of gel food colouring to the remaining dough, and knead until it’s completely incorporated. It will go streaky at first, but carry on and add more gel if necessary if the dough isn’t green enough. If its sticky, dust it with a little extra flour. Once it’s a nice Christmas green, pop it onto some clingfilm too and then wrap it up and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  3. Next, prepare three large cookie sheets with non stick baking mat or parchment paper, and preheat your oven to 160c/gas mark 4/350F.
You can find complete recipes of this Easy Christmas Tree Brownies in kerrycooks.com

Homemade Brownie Mix

Homemade Brownie Mix

I am a sucker for a good brownie. I like a consistently good brownie.  I like it to have a flakey crust.  I like it chewy inside.  I like to taste the chocolate. 

Homemade Brownie Mix
Homemade Brownie Mix

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter melted, then cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Sift together all dry ingredients. Place into a jar or airtight container.
  2. On a gift tag or label write the wet ingredients and quantities and then directions. \”Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, beat two eggs with the vanilla. Add in and gently stir dry ingredients. Pour the melted butter into brownie mixture and mix until just incorporated. Spread batter in a prepared 8-inch square pan and bake for 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees.\”

4 LAYER PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

4 LAYER PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

I swear, I think of the best topics to write about while I’m sleeping. Whenever I have trouble sleeping I write posts in my head, and they’re always good ones. My best and most funny writing happens at 2am. The problem? By the time I wake up in the morning I can’t remember the funny. Or the words.

4 LAYER PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BROWNIES
4 LAYER PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 package (about 11 ounces) bittersweet/dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 5 large eggs, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain greek yogurt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9” square pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make the brownie batter: place butter and 1 3/4 cups of the chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute on high power, stir. Continue heating in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Stir in 3 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, then add 3/4 cup flour, cocoa powder, and salt and mix until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Make the cheesecake batter: beat cream cheese with a hand or a stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add peanut butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and sour cream or greek yogurt. Mix until smooth, then add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon flour, and remaining 2 eggs. Beat until smooth without lumps.
  4. Spread half the brownie batter in the prepared pan. It’s a thick batter but should spread easily with a wooden spoon or spatula. Place half the cheesecake mixture over the top and spread carefully. If you have an offset spatula, that makes spreading this layer easier. Top with remaining brownie batter and then the remaining cheesecake to create 4 layers. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the edges start to get golden and the center is set. Cool completely at room temperature. Chill to set, at least 2 hours or overnight. Cut into small bars and serve. This cheesecake is very rich and a little goes a long way! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Source of this 4 LAYER PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BROWNIES is crazyforcrust.com

FAMOUS BRICK STREET CHOCOLATE CAKE

FAMOUS BRICK STREET CHOCOLATE CAKE

Hey folks – we’re having a par-tay here today. Yeah. And you’re invited! So grab your party hat! Today we’re having cake to celebrate the one year anniversary of Through Her Looking Glass. Uh huh. I know.

FAMOUS BRICK STREET CHOCOLATE CAKE
FAMOUS BRICK STREET CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients

Cake:
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
    • 1 cup baking cocoa, sifted
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup instant chocolate pudding mix (small box)
    • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Icing:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup baking cocoa, sifted
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (more or less for consistency)

Instructions

Cake:
    1. Preheat CONVECTION OVEN ONLY to 350°.
    2. Beat sugar, butter & vanilla in large bowl.
    3. Beat in eggs.
    4. Mix in cake flour, baking cocoa, soda, salt, chocolate pudding mix and buttermilk.
    5. Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips.
    6. Pour into greased tube pan.
    7. Bake in CONVECTION OVEN ONLY at 350° for 60-70 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.
    8. Cool cake completely before icing.
Chocolate Icing:
  1. Heat water, butter and vanilla together in sauce pan on stovetop until melted.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in one cup cocoa.
  4. Stir in powdered sugar, sifted.
  5. Stir in heavy cream, up to 3 tablespoons until you get the desired consistency.
  6. Ice by filling the hole in the middle of the cake first, then spread icing over the cake and pour over the sides. Icing will harden as it cools.

Source of this FAMOUS BRICK STREET CHOCOLATE CAKE is throughherlookingglass.com

Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake

Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Eagle Brand. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions are mine alone.

Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake
Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 (15.25 oz) package chocolate cake mix, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 (14 oz) can Eagle Brand Caramel Flavored Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 (16 oz) can store bought chocolate frosting
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Store bought caramel syrup for drizzling on top of cake
  • Note: If you can’t find the seasonal flavor of the Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, you can substitute 1 cup of caramel flavored syrup, (found in the ice cream section of your grocer). If it’s too thick to pour, heat in microwave according to package instructions before pouring over cake.

Instructions

  1. Bake cake according to package instructions. Let cool for 10 minutes. Punch holes in top of cake using the handle of a wooden spoon.
  2. Pour can of Eagle Brand Caramel Flavored Sweetened Condensed Milk over the top of cake. Spread to make sure it gets into all of the holes. Put cake in refrigerator for 1 hour. Frost cake with chocolate frosting. Add nuts and chocolate chips on top. Drizzle with caramel syrup. Slice and serve. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Source of this Chocolate Turtle Poke Cake is momlovesbaking.com

MOLTEN CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE

MOLTEN CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE

Are you still looking for a recipe for Mother’s Day? Don’t you think that such special days do require a good dessert? Moms always deserve the best of everything and I can’t think of a better dessert for them than this Molten Chocolate Lava Cake! You will see that amazing smile and satisfaction on your mom’s face when she dips the spoon into the cake.

MOLTEN CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE
MOLTEN CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter
  • 220g semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Brush 4 small souffle cups with melted butter very well.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl over simmering water, stir until smooth.
  4. Stir in powdered sugar.
  5. Add eggs and egg yolks and keep stirring.
  6. Stir in flour until well blended.
  7. Share between cups and bak efor 13-14 minutes until the sides are set.
  8. Let them rest for a minute and transfer them on serving plates.
  9. Dust powdered sugar and cocoa powder on each right before serving.

Source of this MOLTEN CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE is giverecipe.com

HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKE

HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKE

I don’t even know where to begin. How do I explain how insanely delicious and AMAZING this Hot Fudge Pudding Cake is!? 🙂 I’m hoping the pictures speak for themselves, but just in case they don’t I’ll try and fill you in.

HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKE
HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKE

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. ½ cup cocoa powder
  3. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. ¼ teaspoon salt
  6. ½ cup milk
  7. 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  8. 1 large egg yolk
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  11. 1 cup boiling water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Whisk ½ cup sugar with ¼ cup cocoa powder and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, remaining ½ cup sugar, remaining ¼ cup cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk milk, butter, egg yolk, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips (batter will be stiff).
  3. Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and spread into corners. Sprinkle reserved cocoa and sugar mixture evenly over the top. Gently pour boiling water over cocoa. Do not stir.
  4. Bake until the top of the cake is cracked, sauce is bubbling and a toothpick inserted into cakey area comes out mostly clean, about 22-24 minutes. Cool on rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
NOTES
  1. Yields: 1 (8×8) inch pan.

Source of this HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKE is life-in-the-lofthouse.com

Chocolate Lasagna – A Chocolate Lover’s Treat

Chocolate Lasagna – A Chocolate Lover’s Treat

Ummm okayyy. Chocolate lasagna? Seriously, people. What will the Italians think of next? Fine, it’s not Italian. But doesn’t it make you want to eat this while skipping through one of Tuscany’s fields of sunflowers? The Under the Tuscan Sun soundtrack playing while your hair flies behind you in slow motion. Okay, just me then?

Chocolate Lasagna – A Chocolate Lover’s Treat
Chocolate Lasagna – A Chocolate Lover’s Treat

Ingredients

  • 36 Oreo cookies (regular, not double stuffed)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3¼ cups cold milk, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 12 oz tub Cool Whip, divided
  • 2 – 3.9 oz packages chocolate instant pudding mix
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large food processor, crush Oreo cookies into fine crumbs. Make sure there are no large chunks left.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix melted butter into cookie crumbs using a fork. When the butter is thoroughly mixed in, transfer it to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Using a spatula, press the crumbs down into the bottom of the baking dish as evenly as possible. Put baking dish in refrigerator while you work on the next step.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese with an electric beater until fluffy. Add the 2 tablespoons of cold milk and sugar and mix well. With large spoon or spatula, mix in 1¼ cups of the Cool Whip until combined. Spread cream cheese mixture over cookie crust. Return baking dish to refrigerator and let chill for 10 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together chocolate instant pudding and 3¼ cups cold milk with electric beater or whisk until the pudding starts to thicken. Spread the pudding over the cream cheese layer. Return baking dish to refrigerator and let chill for 10 more minutes.
  5. Have a seat on your couch and dream of how delicious this heavenly dessert is going to be. Start to drool.
  6. Spread remaining Cool Whip over the pudding layer and sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top. (Feel free to use more than ½ cup of the chocolate chips if you want more!)
  7. Chill in fridge for 4 hours or freezer for 1 hour.
 Source of this Chocolate Lasagna – A Chocolate Lover’s Treat is www.thekitchensnob.com

HOT FUDGE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

HOT FUDGE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

These Hot Fudge Cheesecake Brownies are a decadent easy brownie recipe filled with hot fudge cheesecake. These are for chocoholics only!

HOT FUDGE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES
HOT FUDGE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE BROWNIES:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips or additional chocolate chips (or chopped peanut butter cups), for topping

FOR THE CHEESECAKE:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 jar (about 12-16 ounces) hot fudge topping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13″ pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make the brownies: Place the butter and 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips in a large microwave safe mixing bowl and heat on high power in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Stir in cocoa powder until completely incorporated. Add both sugars, vanilla, and salt, stirring to combine. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until completely mixed through. Gently stir in flour until incorporated and no more flour is visible. The batter will be thick.
  3. Spread 2/3 of the brownie batter in the prepared pan and set the rest aside.
  4. Make the hot fudge cheesecake: beat together the cream cheese and hot fudge until smooth and no lumps remain. It’s best to do this with a hand mixer. Gently spread over the bottom brownie layer. (It’s best to drop spoon the batter evenly over the top and then spread to avoid mixing the layers together.)
  5. Carefully layer the rest of the brownie batter on top of the cheesecake layer. (It’s best to drop spoon the batter evenly over the top and then spread to avoid mixing the layers together.) Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, regular sized chocolate chips, or chopped peanut butter cups.
  6. Bake for 30-38 minutes until the brownies are set with just a little wiggle in the center and they are starting to pull away slightly from the edges of the pan. Cool completely then chill at least 2 hours before cutting. Store in refrigerator in sealed container.

Source of this HOT FUDGE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES is crazyforcrust.com

CHOCOLATE ICEBOX CAKE

CHOCOLATE ICEBOX CAKE

This cake was a big hit. All my taste testers were fans. Some of my favorite taste testers are my co-workers kids and I hear there was an argument over who got the last piece of this particular cake.

CHOCOLATE ICEBOX CAKE
CHOCOLATE ICEBOX CAKE

Ingredients

1 14.4 oz box of Chocolate Graham Crackers
Chocolate Mousse
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp milk
1/2 cup cocoa
8 oz cool whip (or homemade whipped cream*)
Chocolate Ganache
11 oz semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Chocolate Whipped Cream and Toppings
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Chocolate sauce (I used this one)
Mini chocolate chips

Instructions

To Make the Chocolate Mousse
1. Combine cream cheese, sugar and milk together in the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer. Mix until completely combined.
2. Add cocoa and mix until smooth.
3. Fold in the cool whip.
To make the chocolate ganache
1. Place chocolate chips in a metal bowl.
2. Microwave the heavy cream until it starts to boil. Remove from microwave and pour over chocolate chips.
3. Cover bowl with saran wrap for 5-7 minutes.
4. Whisk chocolate and cream until smooth.
To make the chocolate whipped cream
1. Freeze metal bowl and whisk for 15-20 minutes to get them good and cold.
2. Remove bowl from freezer and add whipping cream.
3. Whip on medium speed for a few minutes. Cream will initially bubble a little bit, then start to thicken.
4. As the cream starts to thicken, add the cocoa and powdered sugar.
5. Whip until stiff peaks form.
Putting it all together
1. Place a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
2. Top graham crackers with half of the mousse mixture and spread evenly.
3. Spread half of the chocolate ganache on top of the mousse mixture and spread evenly.
4. Place another layer of graham crackers on top of the chocolate ganache
5. Spread remaining mousse mixture on top of graham crackers.
6. Pour remaining ganache on top of mousse mixture and spread evenly.
7. Top ganache with one more layer of graham crackers.
8. Top cake with chocolate whipped cream and spread into an even layer.
9. Finish cake off with chocolate sauce and mini chocolate chips, if desired.
*If making homemade whipped cream, I recommend 1 1/4 cups whipping cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Source of this CHOCOLATE ICEBOX CAKE is lifeloveandsugar.com