Christmas Tree Brownies – A fun project for kids. My basic brownie mix makes a delicious fudgy brownie we cut and decorate like Christmas Trees.
I’ve been having a lot of fun in my kitchen with my daughter. Our latest adventure were these Christmas Tree Brownies. It’s always amazing to see my daughter get excited over something so simple. Truth be told, I just think she likes the tiny candy decorations, but I’m not complaining. These brownies are a fun and festive way to spruce up our holiday dessert table. The best part is that they are SO easy to make and can start with either a boxed mix or your favorite homemade brownie batter. I started with my basic brownie mix and added some chopped walnuts.
The fun here is in the decorating. You can use any frosting you prefer – homemade buttercream, the stuff in the can, or even the “cookie” frosting sold in the tubes. These are usually sold near the cake decorating supplies and chocolate chips at the grocery store. While I love homemade buttercream, today we used the prepared white cookie icing because it’s easier for her to squeeze and I don’t end up with the mess of a traditional piping bag – which always ends up spewing out the top and all over her hands when she squeezes it. We got the best results by turning each tree upside down with the point facing you. Starting at the top (now the long flat side) frost back and forth across the brownie, all the way down to the point. I think the frosting looks better piped in this direction too. My daughter loves piping the frosting, and I have to say for six-years-old, she did a great job.
Some people may think to throw away the small, irregular triangles from the ends of the rows. I keep these and decorate them, too. I find people who just want a taste without having a full tree appreciate these smaller pieces. You can cut your trees as thick or thin as you like – this will, of course, vary the number of trees on your dessert table. I cut mine on the larger side and got 12 larger triangles and six irregular triangles for a total of 18 Christmas Tree Brownies. You could easily cut the larger trees in half creating smaller, skinnier trees. The smaller cuts yield about 24 smaller trees with six irregular-shaped trees for a total of 30 Christmas Tree Brownies.
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup baking cocoa
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Assorted sprinkles & mini candies, for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray or butter a 8x8-in. baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter. I also line my pan with a strip of aluminum foil to help me lift them from the pan.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients and nuts (optional) to the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined. Spread into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center tests clean. It should be just set in the center as they will continue to bake for the next few minutes as they cool.
- Once brownies are cool, cut into Christmas tree-shaped triangles. I do this by first cutting the square into 3 equally sized rows (about 2-1/2 inches tall). Then I cut each row into triangles by angling the knife at about a 45 degree angle (see photo). Repeat with the remaining two rows.
- Use as a piping bag, pipe frosting onto each brownie. The easiest way is to turn the brownie so the point of the tree faces you and the long side is at the top. Starting at the long side now at the "top", pipe frosting back and forth going down to the brownie tip. (Where the tree topper would go).
- Use a variety of sprinkles, crushed peppermint candy canes, or small candies to decorate the trees. Store refrigerated in a tightly covered container.