Sometimes I wish there was 30 hours in a day — hell, give me 40! — this time of year, I could definitely use them all and still want for more.
That said, today, and today only, I give you permission to cheat by using box-brownie mix.
Normally it’s something that would make squirm in horror, but sometimes things just gotta get done the quickest way possible!
It’s okay — by adding a bit of rum, vanilla, and extra cocoa, it’s hard for anyone to tell that you had a little help!
Now, this original recipe calls for a 19 ounce box of brownie mix, but all I could find around Vancouver was a 450 gram (16 ounce) size. Not to worry, though, since it’s easy to make up the difference with a little extra flour and cocoa.
If you do have access to a 19 ounce brownie mix box, however, just omit the extra dry ingredients in the following recipe.
Rum-Spiked Brownies Bites
with Candy Cane Buttercream
*adapted from Booze Cakes
- 1 box of brownie mix, 450 grams
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup half & half cream
- 1/2 cup rum, dark or spiced
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Candy Cane Buttercream
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 ~ 2 tablespoons half & half cream
- 1/3 cup crushed candy canes
Preheat your oven to 350°F (or 175°C). Grease a 9 x 9 inch pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together your 450 gram box of brownie mix with 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon cocoa — if you have a 19 ounce box of brownie mix, then skip the extra flour and cocoa.
Dig a little hole in the middle of the bowl, then add your eggs, vanilla, half & half, rum, and melted butter. Stir until everything is well incorporated.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 ~ 40 minutes, or until the top looks dry and a skewer poked into the middle of the brownies comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into bite-sized mini brownies.
Crush your candy canes, either by using a food processor…
or the old fashioned way: by placing your candy canes in a plastic baggie and beating the crap out of them with a rolling pin. Just make sure that the biggest pieces are no larger than peppercorns.
Set aside 1/3 of a cup of crushed candy cane.
In a large bowl, beat your icing sugar with the softened butter until completely mixed together. Add half & half cream, 1/2 tablespoons at a time, and mix until the buttercream is a manageable consistency.
Make sure your buttercream is exactly how you want it before gently folding in 1/3 of a cup of crushed candy canes.
To finish: use a knife or a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1 cm) tip, frost each brownie bite. Garnish with sprinkles or a piece of candy cane if desired!
If there’s anything more to be said today, it’s that the candy cane buttercream totally makes this recipe.
It’s sweet (duh!) and rich like regular buttercream is, but the crushed candy cane gives it a pleasant, crackly texture and an amazingly strong flavour — one you wouldn’t be able to reproduce with peppermint extract.
Normally I’m the kind of person who turns her nose up at candy canes, but the frosting on these brownie bites has made me change my ways! Yum!