These looked really fancy and kind of tasty and I picked up a bag of Candy Cane Kisses with the full intent of baking with them, and after eating probably half the bag, decided I’d better pick one of my recipes that used them… before they were gone.
What’s most awesome about this recipe is that these look like they’d be much more difficult to make than they actually are. The hardest part was just standing there unwrapping all the kisses.
THE RECIPE – CANDY CANE KISS BROWNIE BITES
- 1 box brownie mix (Note: depending on which box you get, you’ll probably also need water and/or oil and/or eggs – whatever your package calls for. Again, I subbed applesauce for the oil because that’s my new favorite thing. Seemed to work just fine.)
- 1 bag Hershey Candy Cane Kisses (the actual amount you need will vary, based on what pan you use, how many you get, etc. I used 56.)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream (thanks to this pin and its subsequent site, I learned you can substitute fat-free evaporated milk for the heavy cream to lighten it up)
- 3 original candy canes, crushed (I only had two left after the peppermint cookies because I ended up eating two of them, not knowing I would need more, so I crushed the two I had and then crushed up some extra kisses because the two candy canes didn’t seem to give me very much… peppermint dust. I don’t know what to call it.)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Prepare your brownie mix according to the directions on the package.
The original source calls for a mini-cheesecake pan (which I don’t have) or a mini-muffin pan (which I DO have) – I’m not really sure what the difference is? It looks like she got 18 from her pan whereas I will have 24… I bet the mini-cheesecake pans are bigger? Not sure.
Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray and then scoop/spoon the batter into the wells, filling each one about 3/4 of the way full.
Press a kiss into the center of each future-brownie, not all the way down to the bottom but about halfway (keep the tip exposed.)
Bake for about 20 minutes or until brownies are fully baked. At first, you will get a wonderful, luscious aroma of baking brownies. Then, about halfway through, you will suddenly notice that the scent has shifted and it’s now that of MINT. It’s quite glorious.
Um, anyway. Take the pan out of the oven, let the brownies cool completely.
When you pull them out of the oven, you will notice that they have magically engulfed the kiss. Though one of mine fell apart when I was taking it out, and I saw how it worked: the kiss SHRUNK. Weird.
(I had enough batter to do 2+ batches, so I took a spoon and carefully scooped each brownie out and set them on a second cooling rack so I could re-use the muffin tin. They got a little more done/chewy than I normally like my brownies, so I went a couple minutes less on the second batch, and those didn’t quite get done enough, or so I thought, and then I realized that I never re-sprayed my pan, so the fact that they were falling apart as I tried to get them out was probably less an issue of done-ness and more an issue of THEY ARE STICKING TO THE PAN NOOOOO. So, oops.)
This is what happens when you don’t spray before you bake.
The topping! For the brownie bites that survived, here is what you do to top them off.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second intervals until they seem to be significantly melted. Stir in cream (or evaporated milk) until smooth (as you stir, any that have retained their chip-shape will finish melting and Become One with the mixture).
Dip the tops of the brownies into the chocolate, then sprinkle with the crushed-up candy canes. Voila! You’re done. Except for the eating part.
The moral of the story is this: if you add frosting and bits of crushed up peppermint, you can salvage just about anything.
I’m calling this one a Fail on my part. I’m not entirely sure what happened, exactly, but I must have over-baked them. The problem, I think, is that the original blogger used the cheesecake pans (which looked like they were larger/deeper) and said that you could use a mini-muffin pan – but I don’t think it quite works. I think if I had adjusted the cooking time, they might have turned out okay – 20 minutes was too long for these teensy brownies and they all got overdone. So that didn’t translate across cookware very well, which is kind of a bummer.
Did it require any weird gadgetry or or cookware? I suspect you will get better results with the mini-cheesecake pan, otherwise you will have to make some adjustments to the cooking time. (If you try this and get it to work, PLEASE let me know!) You’ll also need the peppermint kisses, which are a seasonal item.
How much did the ingredients cost*? The larger sized bag of the peppermint kisses was about $4-5, but there were a LOT in there. Most of which I ate before I even started this. The brownie mix was about a dollar… I already had the stuff I needed FOR the brownies… the evaporated milk was about $1.50, I think? Bag of chocolate chips was another couple dollars. One of these days, I swear I will write this stuff down when I buy it.
*This is based on the price of goods in the Midwest. Cost may vary per region.
Does it taste as good as it looks? Does it only look good because it was so well photographed? The potential was definitely there. I had a few that were soft enough to eat and I could get a sense of what they were supposed to taste like. Otherwise, no, mine did not taste good, but that’s because I screwed them up.
Final recommendation: With the proper equipment, these would probably be quite delightful. However, this recipe does NOT work as stated with the alternate pan – you WILL need to make some adjustments. It’s a really good idea for a holiday treat, but it just didn’t quite work out for me. Maybe you’ll have better luck?