These Christmas tree brownies are the perfect treat to spread holiday cheer! I mean, who doesn’t love googly eyes? In our house, my kids always choose these to make and give as gifts for their teachers for the holidays. They’re not only delicious but they also have the adorable and the fun factor going for them too.
I really love that these brownies are every bit as delicious as my cosmic brownies (one of my favorite recipes!). Let’s face it, they can’t only be cute, they have to really taste good. Imagine Paul Hollywood taking a bite…..No worries, the brownie component of these treats won’t let you down!
Let’s bake some brownies!
- Deep chocolate flavor
- Delightfully Simple
- Icing: If you want to simplify this recipe or if you want the preparation easier for kids to make, skip the royal icing and use a tub of pre-made vanilla frosting tinted green with gel food coloring or food coloring.
- I like vibrant green so I use gel food coloring for more intense color hues. Start with 3 to 4 drops and then keep adding until you get the color you want.
- If you need an extra set of hands to fill the piping bag, just set the empty bag in a tall slim glass. Fold the corners down over the edges and fill ‘er up! Best trick ever!
- Temperature: You’ll want your butter and eggs are at room temperature before you get started. Believe it or not, the temperature of your starting ingredients directly affects the texture of your baked goods.
- Butter: Melting the butter first will help give us the ideal consistency as long as the batter isn’t overmixed. Melting the butter first will produce a dense, sturdy chunk of chocolate since you’ll eliminate the extra air that’s usually incorporated from the butter/sugar creaming process.
- Batter: Since you’re mixing these by hand, you’ll want to make sure you lightly beat the eggs before incorporating them into the batter. This little extra step will help make sure the whites and yolks get incorporated more evenly.
- Once you start adding the dry ingredients, be sure to mix only until you can’t see the flour anymore. We want a dense but not tough brownie.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
You don’t have to store the Christmas tree brownies in the fridge unless you just want to. I typically keep mine in an airtight container on the counter. These will hold up for 3-4 days, but they’ll probably get gobbled up before then.
Can You Freeze These Christmas Tree Brownies?
These freeze great and they’ll stay yummy for 4-6 months in the frozen abys. Just let them cool completely before wrapping them snuggly and placing in a freezer-safe bag.
If I’m doing holiday prep and I plan on freezing mine, then I usually don’t decorate them until serving time. It keeps ‘em pretty and simplifies the whole process.
Make Ahead Tips
Pull out your butter and eggs about half an hour before you want to bake. If you forget, then you can always cut your butter into little cubes and set your eggs in a bowl of warm tap water. They should be room temp in about 10 minutes.
If it helps, you can always whisk your dry ingredients together and have them ready to go.
These Christmas tree brownies are spectacular just like they are, but the recipe is also a great base for lots of other goodies too. Here are some other things you can do.
- Make Christmas cookies. A few simple swaps can turn them into decadent chocolate Christmas cookies or lose the cocoa altogether and roll out some Christmas sugar cookies that are so good they’ll disappear before you finish decorating!
- Make reindeers instead. Forget the cookie-cutter! Make them round and serve up some cute little Reindeer cookies.
- Add Valentine’s vibe. If you’re looking for a Valentine treat, check out my red velvet brownies!
Christmas Tree Brownies
- 1 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten and at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2/3 cup unsweetened Hershey's cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- black/green food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray 9x13 with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together cocoa, flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside
- Using a medium saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
- Gradually whisk in flour mixture into cocoa just until incorporated.
- Stir in chopped walnuts.
- Place the batter in the prepared baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 30-35 minutes.
- Place pan on wire baking rack, and cool completely.
- When brownies are completely cool use a tree-shaped cookie cutter to cut brownies. Place cut brownies on a cookie sheet.
Make the Royal Icing:
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixture, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, powdered sugar, and vanilla, mix on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
- Divide the icing into two small mixing bowls.
- To one bowl, add a couple of drops of green food coloring and stir until the color is even. Continue to add food coloring until the desired color is achieved.
- On the second bowl, add a couple of drops of black food coloring and stir until the desired color is achieved.
- Pour a small amount of each icing into its own piping bag.
- Thin the remaining green icing with a little water (around 2 tablespoons) and mix until combined. It should be thin enough to spread easily but not runny.
- Into a squeeze bottle pour the icing that has been thinned.
- Using the green icing in the piping bag, add a line around the edge of the trees.
- In the outlined area use the squeeze bottle to fill in.
- One-third of the way place two edible eyes.
- On the trunk of the tree add the red bow into the icing and allow it to dry.
- Using the icing from the piping bag, pipe an oval-shaped nose under the eyes and fil in.
- Using the black icing in the piping bag, pipe on a smile and eyebrows.
- Allow completed cookies to set, one hour.