I love Christmas tree brownies. Well, I love chewy, fudgy brownies of any kind and these pretty Christmas tree brownies are hard to resist!
As a child I used to love to decorate Christmas trees.
I think everyone in our town felt sorry for us, because we never had a Christmas tree!
I love the beauty of a Christmas tree and the fresh scent of the pine and the coziness that the tree brings to the house.
But alas, I’m not a Christmas tree girl, though I would have been really good at it!
In any case, I do love festivities and love decorating for any holiday season, though I’ve never been good at the really “cutesy” stuff.
This year, with two sweet girls living next door, I thought I’d try my hand at making Christmas tree shaped brownies.
Anyone can do it; it just had never crossed my mind.
Any of your favorite brownie recipes can be used, but I thought I’d try one I found in the New York Times.
(Last year I recommended getting a subscription to their Food section and I still do.)
So many more recipes than mine, will be at your fingertips!
Well, these fudgy brownies become perfect Christmas trees and are totally irresistible, whether you make them into trees or not!
Need something else to add to that cookie tray? Or to give to the kids next door? Or for all those Christmas parties you are invited to?
Any holiday party will welcome these!
And these adorable Christmas tree brownies are the ticket!
My homemade brownies are three layers.
The first layer is the brownie layer.
The second layer is the filling, which is made with confectioners or powdered sugar and condensed milk.
Feel free to add green food coloring to this if you’d like.
A little mint extract works well, too.
The last layer is chocolate ganache topping, but I used Ghirardelli chocolate wafers and melted them.
Keep in mind though that the chocolate wafer topping will crack when the brownies are cut, so if you want the perfect brownie, stick with the silky chocolate ganache.
I sprinkled my brownies with crushed peppermints, and also a few mint red and green m & m’s!
Are these candy cane peppermint brownies?
Only if you want them to be. I didn’t use mint extract in my fillings but loved the mild mint flavor that the peppermints gave to this easy brownie recipe.
Last but not least, I made a small hole, using a skewer, in the bottom of the brownies to add a tree trunk.
Using cute green straws that I had on hand worked well, but broken candy canes work, too!
I’ve seen many use boxed brownie mix to make these and I believe in keeping it simple.
If that works for you, do it!
I always try to jazz up brownie mix with a little extra cocoa powder, some real vanilla extract and even some chocolate chips.
This festive treat is made in a 13 x 9 pan which makes quite a few brownies or Christmas trees, depending on how large you cut them.
These are rich chewy Christmas brownies so I suggest making them small.
How to Make Christmas Tree Brownies:
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 and lightly greasing a 13 x 9 pan. (I save my butter wrappers to grease my pans)
Parchment paper will also work and makes it much easier to lift the brownies out of the pan.
In a large bowl melt the chocolate, room temperature butter, brown sugar and white sugar.
I do this in my microwave on power level 7 for thirty second intervals, stirring each time until melted.
Whisk the eggs one at a time into the chocolate mixture, then whisk in the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients consisting of flour, baking powder and salt and mix until incorporated.
Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out almost clean-mine took about 22 minutes.
Cool completely before adding the next layer.
Make the filling using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment attached.
To the bowl of a stand mixer add the powdered sugar, condensed milk, mint extract if using, vanilla extract and salt to combine.
Some food coloring can be added here, too!
Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
When you stop mixing the mixture may settle and look a bit wet, but that’s OK.
Spread the filling over the cooled brownies.
Chill for 15 minutes before topping with ganache or glaze.
Place the chocolate chips, heavy cream and butter in a medium bowl.
Microwave in 30 second intervals at power level 7, stirring between each interval until melted.
Let glaze cool before spreading on the filling.
Top with crushed peppermints or rainbow sprinkles or red sprinkles or green sprinkles or Christmas sprinkles…well, you get the picture!
Chill again until the chocolate is fully set.
When ready to serve, use a sharp knife to slice brownies into triangles.
I always keep a glass of hot water nearby to help me cleanly slice the brownies, wiping off between each cut.
This way they will look like festive Christmas tree brownies!
Keep these covered with aluminum foil or in an airtight container, and with luck they will last about a week.
Though that is highly doubtful because this sweet treat is so good!
I plan to finish my baking this afternoon and bring these festive Christmas brownies to my neighbors tomorrow, along with lots of other cookies I’ve made.
Truth is baking really puts me in the holiday spirit, but the problem is the holiday spirit somehow ends up on my waist!
These brownies, with their deep chocolate flavor, will make you the winner of any cookie exchange and also are the perfect addition to any holiday table.
And one last word…If you do buy those mint M&M’s, they are deadly. They are addicting.
They are almost better than these holiday brownies!
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Alice Medrich knows chocolate. I would love this book.
I’d love this cookie cookbook, too!Print
These rich, fudgy brownies with peppermint tops can be cut into Christmas tree or little squares. So good any time of year and so festive for the holidays!
Nonstick Cooking Spray
10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 c dark brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
3 large eggs
2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t fine sea salt
For the filling:
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
2/3 c sweetened condensed milk
3/4 t peppermint extract (optional)
1/2 t vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Green or red food coloring (optional)
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips melted
1/4 c heavy cream
1 T unsalted butter
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 c of crushed peppermints or candy canes
Mint M and M’s (optional)
Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease a 9 x 14″ pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides.
Place chocolate, butter, brown sugar, and white sugar into a medium microwaveable bowl. Melt at 30 second intervals, stirring each time until melted. The mixture may be grainy, but that’s OK.
Whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture one at a time. Then whisk in the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Scrape into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs and the side starts to pull away from the edges of the pan. Do not overbake if you want fudgy brownies.
Make the filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the powdered sugar, condensed milk, mint extract if using, vanilla extract and salt to combine on medium-low. When the mixture is well combined, scrape down the bowl and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Once you stop beating it will settle and that is OK.
Spread the filling over the cooled brownies. It may be stiff, but will still spread. Chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
In a microwaveable bowl, place the chocolate, cream, butter and salt. Heat at 30 second interval on power level 7, stirring at each interval until the mixture is evenly melted. Let the glaze cool for 5 minute before pouring over filling.
OR: Melt the Ghirardelli Melting wafers and spread over instead of glaze.
Sprinkle the crushed peppermints or your choice of sprinkles over the glaze and let chill for about 45 minutes.
Using a sharp knife dipped into hot water, slice the brownies into squares or triangles any size you want. Dip the knife into hot water and wipe off between each cut for clean slices.
If cutting into triangles for Christmas trees, use a skewer to make a small hole into the bottom of the brownie. Stick a broken candy cane in or a straw to give your Christmas tree a trunk.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Please see post for other ideas.
Keywords: Christmas tree brownies, Christmas tree brownies recipe, peppermint brownies, peppermint chocolate brownies, fudgy brownies