I am a big lover of holiday-themed dishes, particularly of the dessert variety. But when it comes to making such treats at home in my own kitchen, I tend to really mess things up. Like, really.
I just down have Martha Stewart’s hands. My coconut snowmen would surely look like they have been affected by global warming. My bunny carrot cake is sure to resemble really bad abstract art. I made a “festive” cheese ball for a Halloween potluck back in October that was scary in all the wrong ways.
Maybe it’s because I feel so much pressure to create something that is awe-inspiring around the holidays that prevents me from making anything that even my dogs would find appealing.
This year hasn’t been any different. I made what were supposed to be the cutest Valentine’s cherry cheesecake Nutella brownies last week, and let me tell you – What. A. Flop.
They were sooo ugly (but they were pretty yummy!).
But guys, cookie cutters are becoming this opposite-of-Martha-Stewart girl’s best friend! And for exhibit A, I now present Nutella Brownies with Vanilla Buttercream in the shapes of hearts and Cupid’s arrow!
These Nutella brownies are ultra dense, fudgy, and chewy, and can easily be cut into any shape using cookie cutters. Add a little bit of vanilla buttercream on top to balance out all of the chocolate that’s going on and sprinkles for decoration, and you’ve got yourself an easy, delicious, and festive holiday treat!
Here’s to the first holiday-themed treat I’ve made that is both tasty and cute at the same time! Happy Valentine’s Day!
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 cups sugar*
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup Nutella
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- Red food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9”x13” pan (I used a light metal pan) with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth using a handheld mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat until just combined.
- Add the Nutella to the batter and beat until smooth and combined.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes until center is just set. Cool to room temperature in pan, then place plastic wrap directly onto top of brownies and transfer to the fridge until completely chilled.
- Once brownies are completely chilled, remove from fridge, take off plastic wrap and peal off foil. Place the uncut slab of brownies on a cutting board. Using cookie cutters of your choice, cut out different brownie shapes. (Save the leftover brownie pieces for a brownie parfait or ice cream!)
- Top brownies with frosting and sprinkles. Enjoy!
- Cream softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a scraper paddle attachment. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until combined and smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Slowly add milk ½ tablespoon at a time, mixing and checking consistency after each addition. Add red food coloring 1 drop at a time and carefully stir to distribute color evenly. Add more food coloring as desired. If your buttercream becomes too thin, just add in a little more of the powdered sugar to thicken it back up.
**I’ve also made these brownies with storebought funfetti icing. Makes things a little easier. I won’t tell.
Nutella brownie recipe adapted from Food.com.