Colorful Grinch Brownies are a special treat for all Dr. Seuss fans. A layer of fudgy brownie is topped with white chocolate blondie, tinted Grinch green. Three red hearts are a reminder that, “in Whoville they say, the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!” Share these whimsical brownies, symbolic of the Grinch’s lessons on happiness and gratitude, with friends and family.
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My Christmas military care package this year is incredibly green. Grinch green! From the decorations on the box to the baked goods inside, this Seussian care package is straight out of Whoville. I’m sharing the details and recipes in a series of three posts; today’s Grinch Brownies, followed by Decorated Grinch Cookies, and a Grinch Care Package resource guide.
Grinch Brownies use a two batter method, instead of frosting, to create colorful decorated brownies that ship well. The colors are eye catching and the blondie-brownie combination is delicious. Take a look at Galaxy Brownies and Christmas Brownies for additional shippable multihued bars.
BAKING NOTES FOR GRINCH BROWNIES
- These brownies can be prepared with or without peppermint flavor. The recipe includes quantity and directions for adding optional peppermint extract.
- This recipe makes two 8”pans of Grinch Brownies or one 9”x 13” pan. The smaller pan size has several advantages for care package mailing. I recommend sending pans of brownies uncut for longer freshness. The smaller pan size is easier to wrap (or vacuum seal) and fits more easily in flat rate boxes. Also, Grinch Brownies baked in the smaller pans are slightly thicker than those baked in the large pan.
- I use and recommend Americolor food coloring gel. Just a few drops are needed and the colors stay vibrant when baked. Food coloring gel is much more effective than the liquid coloring from the supermarket.
HOW TO MAKE GRINCH BROWNIES
Making Grinch Brownies is very simple, but this is not quick recipe. The two layers, brownie and blondie, require making two separate batters. However, once the batters are made, putting the Grinch Brownies together is easy. The smiles of Grinch joy when you serve or send these brownies, make the extra effort well worth it!
- Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pans.
- Use an offset spatula or spoon to spread the green batter to evenly cover the brownie layer completely.
- To form the hearts, roll 2 teaspoons of red dough into a ball. Place the ball on top of the green blondie layer.
- Use your fingertips to gently press the ball into a flat disc, then form a point at the bottom of the disc.
- Use a skewer or tooth pick to indent the circle at the top to create the top mounds of a heart shape.
- Repeat for three hearts.
- Add sprinkles and press them gently into the dough surface with finger tips.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes covered, then remove the foil and complete baking for another 12 minutes or until the top is set. The top may appear a bit moist, but will firm as the brownies cool.
GRINCH BROWNIES RECIPE
Grinch Brownies are smile inducing Christmas treats perfect for sharing with loved ones near and far. As a story time snack or as part of a care package theme, these fudgy bars will be savored.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup baking cocoa I use Whole Foods fair trade 360 brand
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- ⅔ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract OPTIONAL
- ½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips I use Whole Foods fair trade 360 brand
- ½ cup mini white chocolate chips I use Whole Foods fair trade 360 brand
GRINCH GREEN BLONDIE LAYER
- 8 ounces 2 baking bars white chocolate, broken into chunks
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract OPTIONAL
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Red and green food coloring gel I used Americolor Electric Green and Red Red
- 2-4 tablespoons green sprinkles; nonpareils jimmies, and balls
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line two 8” x 8” pans with foil, allowing for a little overhang (for easy lifting later) and spray lightly with non-stick spray.
FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the shortening, sugar, eggs, and peppermint extract (OPTIONAL). Beat until light in color and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Gradually add in the flour mixture, until combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter in half and spread one half of the brownie batter evenly into each of the prepared pans.
FOR THE GRINCH GREEN WHITE BLONDIE LAYER:
Break the white chocolate bars into chunks, then place the white chocolate and shortening into a medium sized microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave 1 minute at 50% power. Stir. If not completely melted, return to microwave for 10 second intervals at 50% power, stirring between heating, until completely melted and combined. White chocolate burns easily. Though tempting, don’t try to shorten melting time by using full power. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs until foamy (about 3 minutes).
Mix in sugar, vanilla, peppermint extract (OPTIONAL), and melted chocolate.
Add flour and salt and stir until incorporated. The batter will be thick.
Remove 2 tablespoons of dough and mix with 2 drops of red coloring in a small bowl, until uniformly colored.
To the remaining dough, add 4-5 drops of green food color and mix until the colors are uniform.
Use an offset spatula or spoon to spread the green batter to evenly cover the brownie layer completely.
Add three red dough hearts. To form the hearts, roll 2 teaspoons of red dough into a ball. Place the ball on top of the green blondie layer and use your fingertips to gently press the ball into a flat disc, then form a point at the bottom of the disc. Use a skewer or tooth pick to indent the circle at the top to create the top mounds of a heart shape.
Add sprinkles and press them gently into the dough surface with finger tips.
Lay a sheet of foil across the top of each pan (not touching batter). The foil keeps the colored dough from browning and keeps the colors vibrant. Bake for 15 minutes covered, then remove the foil and complete baking for another 12 minutes or until the top is set. The top may appear a bit moist, but will firm as the brownies cool.
Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan (about 30 minutes).
Store Grinch Brownies at room temperature in an airtight container or freezer weight ziplock bag for up to 2 weeks.
Wrap individual brownies in plastic wrap. Place stacks of wrapped brownies in freezer weight ziplock bags. For long distance shipping, I recommend shipping Grinch Brownies uncut for longer freshness. Wrap the entire 8”x8” square of brownies (removed from pan using the foil overhang) first in foil and then in plastic wrap. Then insert the wrapped brownies into a freezer weight gallon ziplock bag or vacuum seal. Include a few plastic knives for cutting.
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For a listing of all The Monday Box care package ideas and themed recipes, refer to the Military Care Package Ideas page by clicking here or in the drop down menu on the navigation bar under Military Care Packages.