Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mini Brownie Hearts

I try to avoid buying the specialty holiday bakeware, because I have no room to store lots of them and I always have this nagging feeling that I'll only ever use them once. But I saw this cute mini-heart pan on a pre-Valentine's super clearance, and figured, for three dollars, why not? Kiddo has a Valentine's party at Kindergarten tomorrow, so I thought I'd make treats.

I made little bite-sized brownie hearts with cream-cheese icing and pink sprinkles. I went with the Hershey's Best Brownie recipe (subbing half the sugar with Splenda) and this tasty cream cheese icing recipe, also with Splenda. I figured a room full of Kindergarteners on Valentines day didn't need full sugar!

Hershey's Best Brownie

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
In this case I used spray oil on the pan, used the recommended rounded teaspoon of batter (that's a measured teaspoon, not a regular spoon) and baked them for 7 minutes. One batch made about 45 minis.

Splenda Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/4c butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 drop imitation maple flavor
1/2c Splenda
1/2c sugar

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix on medium speed until well blended.
I didn't have maple flavoring, but the lack didn't hurt. I used Neufchatel cheese, which is the same thing here in the States. One batch was more than enough to frost 1 3/4 batches of brownies (some were sacrificed to quality testing!).

One day I'll learn to take glorious food pictures like Pikko over at Adventures in Bento Making!

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