candy coating disks in color(s) of your choice **
a variety of sprinkles **
a bit of shortening, to thin the melted candy coating disks for easier coverage, about 1 tsp. per 2 cups of melted candy
Makes: 32 brownie pops
(**The possibilities are endless, as the colors and sprinkles can be tailored to any season, holiday, or special event you want to celebrate.)
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT (found at Michaels and other baking supply stores)
brownie pops silicone molds **
32 4" sticks
(**I used brownie pops silicone molds, since I couldn’t resist a 75% off sale at Target after Valentine’s Day last year. But if you don’t have these special pans, and you don't feel like buying them, don’t fret. Check out this post from my friend, Shaina, at Babble Food. She made brownie balls with no special equipment involved.)
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare your brownie pops silicone molds by spraying generously with cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet for added stability for transporting in and out of the oven. Set aside.
Mix up "Grandma Barb's Brownies" according to the recipe. I didn't include the optional chocolate chips or nuts for the brownie pops.
Fill each brownie pops mold cavity 2/3 full of brownie batter. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven. If the tops of your brownies are a bit uneven, simply press down any bumps while the brownies are still warm. Let brownies cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then invert pan and pop them out onto a rack. Immediately insert the sticks into the rounded tops, pushing them about 3/4 of the way down into the brownies. Be careful to not rearrange the stick once it is pushed in, as it will loosen the stick's hold. Press the brownies slightly around the base of the stick, to hold the sticks steady. Cool completely. These can be made a day in advance of decorating. Just store in an airtight container until ready to use.
And now, for the really fun part! Pour your sprinkles into small bowls, for dipping and sprinkling. Over a double boiler, melt your candy coating disks. Or, very carefully, use a microwave. Just be sure to not get them too hot. Only warm the candy disks until they are partially melted, then stir to melt completely. Add a bit of shortening to thin. I didn't want to be responsible for my daughter's young friends working over a hot stove, so I poured each color of melted candy into a separate glass. I found a glass works well, as it allows the brownie to get fully dipped. If you don't have quite enough candy in your glass to cover the brownie's top, just use a spoon to help cover the brownie completely. Also, do not twist the brownies once they are dipped in the melted candy, as it loosens the stick in the brownie. Once the brownies are completely dipped, tap off any excess candy coating, then dip and/or sprinkle with decorations of your choice. Set on wax paper to cool completely. Then enjoy!
Grandma Barb's Brownies
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1-1/2 c. flour
10 T. unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional, to sprinkle on top (Chocolate chips are a MUST for me!)
chopped nuts, optional, to sprinkle on top (Mom likes to put nuts on half the pan. No nuts for me, thanks.)
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, and eggs. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into your prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with optional chocolate chips and/or nuts. Bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the heat off, leaving the pan in the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove pan to a rack to cool completely.
Source: Mom's recipe box, originally from Eleanor Hardie, who is married to Mom's cousin, Walter. Mom first enjoyed these at a Voss family reunion in Mitchell, South Dakota, when I was just a kid. We've been eating them ever since. Many thanks to you, Eleanor!