Last night I had a Halloween party, and in keeping with spirit of the party, I decided to try a themed dessert: Graveyard Brownies. I thought about laying some Lego men around the tombstones for added effect, but ultimately decided to stick with an all-edible item. Then I thought about trying to make marshmallow spider webs or adding gummy worms, but there’s something to be said for simplicity – especially with a first effort.
Next year I might try and make something more intricate or build further on this idea. But that’s a little while away. In the meantime, I’d welcome comments or ideas for building a better (graveyard) brownie, or other spooky dessert.
WHAT TO GRAB:
FOR THE BROWNIES:
2 sticks of butter, plus a tablespoon for greasing
8 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
FOR THE GRAVEYARD:
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
Green food coloring
Large block of white chocolate
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 1.5 (optional). If you’re using the walnuts, I find cooking them for about 10 minutes helps accentuate their natural flavor.
2. In a double-boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together, then let it cool.*
*When working with chocolate, make sure you don’t get any water in the chocolate. It will freeze up and be unworkable!
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the salt, sugars, and vanilla. Finally, whisk in the chocolate mixture.
4. Fold in the flour in batches, and stir until just combined. If using the walnuts, stir them in now.
5. Butter a 13 by 9 inch baking pan, and line it with buttered parchment paper. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes – or until the top is shiny and beginning to crack. Let it cool.
6. Soften the white chocolate in the microwave – but only just a bit. Carefully carve out small 2 by 4 inch rectangular pieces. Then make angled cuts to the top, and round it out as best you can. Repeat, fifteen times.*
*This step really takes a lot of patience and practice. The chocolate tends not to cooperate.
7. Make a small cut into the brownie, and insert the tombstones, in five rows of three.
8. In a small mixing bowl, combine the shredded coconut with one drop of food coloring.* Mix well, and then sprinkle the coconut around the tombstones.
*Food coloring is mighty stuff. Any more than two drops and you could be eating green brownies – save that for St. Patrick’s Day!
9. Squeeze the icing on a fingertip and dot the tombstones. (At first, I thought I’d be writing out “R.I.P.” on these tombstones. But that just wasn’t going to happen in a one or two inch space of chocolate).
10. Cut ’em up and serve!