These heart shaped brownies are a decadent chocolate treat. Topped with white chocolate and red sprinkles, they are the perfect treat for Valentine's Day. Be sure to make them for a loved one!
I don't know about you guys, but I feel like January FLEW right by us this year. Not that I'm complaining! January is my least favorite month of the year. It's always hard to come down after the high of the holiday season. I'm never ready to jump on the New Year's resolution healthy lifestyle bandwagon right away. Speaking of New Year's resolutions, did you make any goals for 2019? I made a mini-resolution to stay off social media (except for Pinterest) during January. Although I missed scrolling through Instagram at times, I found it refreshing! The plan is to try and make it another month without Facebook and Instagram. I'll keep you posted!
Another reason I'm not the biggest fan of January is that I never know what to bake. It's too early for Easter desserts. I've already baked ALL the cookies in December. And I'm not quite ready to commit to 100 calorie muffins. You can see my problem.
Well, this year I saved all the trouble and skipped the month of January! Problem solved. Which also means we can start 2019 with these delicious heart shaped brownies. You're welcome.
Let's Make Some Heart Shaped Brownies!
I love this brownie recipe because I typically have all the ingredients in our home on a given day. When I need to make a last minute dessert, this is my favorite recipe. I love the heart shaped brownie pan for Valentine's Day, but you can use any shape pan for these brownies.
This brownie recipe is SO easy to make! First, you mix your dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Next, you incorporate the wet and dry ingredients together. Make sure you don’t over-mix your batter—this will make your brownies tough. The final picture (where there are still some lumps) is how you want your brownies to look. Finally, spoon your batter into the muffin tins, filling them about halfway full.
I like to use candy melts for the chocolate topping to these brownies. I used a traditional white vanilla flavor in this recipe, but you could feel free to get creative!
What Kind of Cocoa Powder Should I Use?
Cocoa powder is the main ingredient in chocolate cakes, muffins, cupcakes, and BROWNIES! You can find it in the baking aisle of your grocery store, usually near the chocolate chips. Let's talk science for a moment. At its most basic level, cocoa powder is the dried remains of roasted cacao beans. The process looks something like this... cacao beans get fermented, dried, roasted, and ground into a paste. This paste is melted and separated into cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Cooks Illustrated has a great infographic on the journey from pod to powder. There are two types of cocoa powder used in baking.
Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder
Dutch-process cocoa has a lower acidity level because it is treated with alkaline. What does this mean? It means the taste is less bitter because the acid has been neutralized. The appearance is also different. Dutch-process cocoa has a darker, red hue. From a science perspective, when you're baking with Dutch-process cocoa, there is less acid for leavening agents (hello, baking soda) to react with. The result is that your baked goods will rise less and have a fudgier texture.
Natural Cocoa Powder
Natural cocoa powder tastes very bittersweet. Unlike its counterpart, it has not been treated with alkaline, thus giving it a higher acidity. Natural cocoa powder reacts with the baking soda in your cakes to causing them to rise. In the United States, the cocoa powder that you typically see in the grocery store is natural cocoa powder.
Heart Shaped Brownies
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup white chocolate
- sprinkles for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a heart shaped silicone mold with baking spray.
- In a large saucepan, melt ½ cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, mix ⅓ cup cocoa, ½ cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Incorporate wet ingredients with the dry and spoon the batter into your molds.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
- Dip cooled brownies in white chocolate and decorate with sprinkles. Allow chocolate to harden at room temperature.