Happy Valentines Day! (or birthday, or 4th of July ….) These fancy decorated Valentine brownie bites are just looking for a reason to celebrate!
Normally I don’t usually do valentine baking, but this year I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to come up with something that looks fabulous, but are really super easy to whip up. I started with my easy, Luscious Valrhona Brownies made in the Instant Pot. Once they were cooked, I turned them out onto a cutting board, and used some fun cookie cutters to make them into three different sized hearts. I got the cutters from two different sets, the bigger one came from this set, and the small two came from here. You’ll want cookie cutters in a range of sizes around 3/4″ to 2″ to get the most pieces out of the pan of brownies. My BF Trilo was happy to “help” with the leftover pieces.
Decorating the Brownies
I ordered a couple of jars of Fancy Sprinkles after seeing their ads online. They are really fun mixed combinations of colors and textures. Of course they were red and pink, and just screaming to be used for Valentine’s Day.
Of course, that means I needed to have frosted brownies in order to get the sprinkles to stick! Luckily I have two go-to recipes that I absolutely love, one is a dark chocolate ganache, and the other is a light buttercream frosting. I decided to make both of them to give me more options for decorating.
Dandelion Chocolate Dark Chocolate Ganache
If you’ve followed my recipe for these brownies, you know about my love for Valrhona chocolate. But long before I found them, I fell in love with a local San Francisco chocolate company called Dandelion. They are very excited about the process of making chocolate, and happy to share their love for it. They carry a wide selection of chocolates from a lot of different regions, each with their own special qualities (read more about them here).
Bailey’s Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting
For my lighter-colored frosting, I decided that my Bailey’s Irish Cream buttercream frosting would be perfect. Okay, full disclosure – I have made cupcakes just so that I could eat this frosting! It is so good (and not overly alcoholic). The Bailey’s is more of a flavoring in these, but if you are serving these to kids, or simply not doing booze, you can use vanilla instead. It has a great, smooth, lightly whipped texture that works great with the dense brownies.
One, The Other, Or Both!
When you frost your brownie shapes, pile the frosting on top and then smooth it out, covering only the top. Make sure to scrape your knife around the edges to maintain the cut shape. This is especially important when frosting your smaller pieces. Try to do roughly half of one and half of the other frosting on your bites. You can also do a few half-and-half, frosting with both on one bite!
If you want to do detailed decorating with your sprinkles, a pair of tweezers works great to give you more control of the tiny pieces. Keep in mind that you absolutely don’t have to get crazy-detailed, the brownies will be just as fun by simply sprinkling the jar over your frosting. I tend to go a bit nuts with decorating (ya think?) but I am having fun, and that’s the important point. Have fun with them!
You can store your brownies in an airtight container to store or transport them till it’s time to serve them. For serving, fill a platter with your fancy brownies or set them out on a large cutting board. There is no way people won’t be thrilled to see these! Enjoy.