Jack-o-lantern Brownie

The first time I made this was when I was in college.  It was first year that baker’s man and I were together.  I wanted to impress him with my domestic skills, but I wasn’t really good at cake decorating.  Instead of the usual way to decorate, I used a bag of m&m’s and some jelly candies that we had on hand to decorate a pan of brownies.    It was a tradition early in our marriage, but after we had kids, we eventually switched to making mud for Halloween dessert.  Sue Chef loves to make brownies with her daddy.  As they were preparing to make brownies today, I requested that they bake the brownies in a round pan instead of the square one that we normally use for this purpose.  Today, they used a box of brownie mix, but you can use your favorite brownie recipe if you prefer.

For baking, they selected a 9 inch round cake pan, but when the brownies were finished, we had some difficulty getting them out of the pan.  In college, I always baked the brownies in a pie plate, and we just frosted the top and cut them into wedges for serving.  I recommend that you do the same and save yourself the stress of trying to get the brownies out of a cake pan in a single piece.  After cooling the brownies and some considerable coaxing, the big round brownie was plated, and we placed strips of wax paper under the edges all the way around to minimize how much frosting would end up on the plate.    Jack-o-lantern brownie

The next step is to mix up your favorite butter cream frosting and, using red and yellow food coloring, color the frosting orange.  If you don’t want to make your own butter cream frosting, start with a can of butter cream frosting.  This time of year, they sell orange frosting, but if you can’t find orange frosting, you can add food coloring to a can of white frosting.  Once you have your frosting ready, apply a thick layer on the top of the brownie.  Once the top is covered, use a knife and make ridges in the frosting to make it look like the ridges on a pumpkin.  That’s the hardest part of decorating this pumpkin.  Once you are satisfied with the ridges in the frosting, it’s time to gather your candies. Jack-o-lantern brownie

I love making this because it’s something that the kids can help with.  The decorations are a simple arrangement of the candies on the surface of the pumpkin.    Usually, the stem is make from a rectangular piece of jellied candy, but this year, I could only find a large green gum drop.  Jack-o-lantern brownieIt’s a good idea to practice arranging the candies on a plate until you’re satisfied with the facial expression.  It’s really messy to place the candies on and then take them off again when you change your mind.  Once you have established facial design and have the candies arranged on a plate,  it’s a simple matter of  transferring the candy design onto the top of the frosted brownie.  Jack-o-lantern brownieIn our case, we used jellied bats, placed upside down, for eyebrows, blue m&m’s for the eyes, a yellow gum drop for the nose, and candy corn for the teeth and mouth.    It was fun to make, and the kids are able to really help with the decorating.  It’s easy to use candy to create a fun jack-o-lantern face on top of your brownie. 

I think it looks cute, what do you think?  Surprisingly, Food Critic didn’t have anything to say about this Halloween treat, but Sue Chef complained that it was too sweet.  She said it was “sweet on sweet on sweet.”  She has requested that next year, “we should just dust the top with powdered sugar to make a brownie ghost or something.”

Do you have any Halloween food traditions that you haven’t made in a while?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for Visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

Orange frosting turns brownies into a Halloween treat. This is a great activity to do with your kids.

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