February 2017: Cherry Kiss Brownie Bites

THIS MONTH’S SCOOP

I had lots of ideas for the February dessert.  There are just so many options when you have a holiday like Valentine’s day to work with!

I mean it’s the month of L-O-V-E! This means lots of red food coloring, pink sprinkles, and edible heart confetti and glitter by the truck loads!

Even with this plethora of bakery magic, I settled on this quick treat because I had these cherry cordial kisses that I wanted to incorporate into a dessert and it had to have chocolate because come on – Valentine’s day!

WHERE DO WE GET THE KISSES

Now, these kisses are a Christmas Holiday treat from Hershey’s that I got at Target (because if it ain’t at Target, you don’t need it – HA!).  You actually cannot find them now which I think is a total marketing flop on their end.

I do not associate cherry cordials with Christmas. I associate them with Valentine’s day.  Heck we even have a local candy manufacturer (you read that right, it’s within miles – BAM!) that puts them on special for Mother’s day.  So just having them available for the Christmas holidays is a total snafu on Hershey’s part.

One good thing for me is that I got some on clearance – so YAY ME! The other good thing is that you do not need these in order to make the brownie bites. You can make them without OR you can sub some other kind of kiss that you like. I bet the caramel ones (since they are also gooey) would work out really well here!

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HOW IT CAME TOGETHER

I’ve made these gluten free Nutella brownie bites from the Gluten Free Canteen for years now.  They are always a big hit, but I wasn’t sure how the whole hazelnut flavor would go with the cherry so I wanted to make them just plain chocolate but what would I replace the Nutella with?

Then it hit me like a load of bricks: HOT FUDGE.  I had recently purchased this dark chocolate hot fudge hoping it was like the cocoa fudge sauce from the Dairy Queen but it 100% wasn’t even close.  In fact, I didn’t even care for it much and I kind of wanted to get rid of it.  So I subbed that for the Nutella, used gluten free oat flour that I made myself and added some baking soda……..

AND – it worked like a CHARM!

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EXPLAIN YOURSELF

So I may have made some confusing comments up above.  You read it correctly that I used ground gluten free oats as the flour -this contains no gums or anything.  I simply took some certified gluten free oats and threw them in my mini food processor.  I processed those babies until they were a fine flour (as fine as oats can be).

I also used no sugar!  The hot fudge has plenty of sugar and stuff to make these a decadent and sweet treat.  So no extra sugar needed! YAHOO!

Since Nutella is a bit thicker than the hot fudge, I thought I should use something to give the brownies a little rise so I solved that with the baking powder.

Lastly, I do not like regular eggs for this recipe – nor do I like them in the Nutella brownie bites either.  I prefer to use egg substitute which I agree is not the best but it really creates more of a brownie feel and crumb to these bites.

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SOMETHING ELSE EXCITING!

You can make these brownie bites with the kisses directly on the brownie bite like this:

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OR you can do them up with any color frosting of your choice. I chose pink of course because it’s pink-a-licious and it’s VALENTINE’S DAY!!

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FULL RECIPE FOR YOUR GLUTEN FREE ENJOYMENT

Cherry Kiss Brownie Bites

adapted from the Gluten Free Canteen Nutella Brownie Bites recipe

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces of Hot Fudge sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons of Egg Substitute (I use egg beaters)
  • 4 Tablespoons ground oat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Hershey’s Cherry Cordial Kisses (or any other kisses)

*Please ensure all ingredients are gluten free!

Brownie Bite Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients really well either by hand or with a mixer.
  3. Spray 12 mini muffin tin with gluten free cooking spray.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, distribute the batter amongst the 12 mini muffin wells.
  5. Bake the muffins for 11-12 minutes.
  6. NO FROSTING OPTION: Place kisses into brownies.  Make sure to push them down a bit.
  7. Let them cool completely.
  8. Run a dull knife around the edges and pop out of the tin. Cool further on a wire wrack.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe (1/2 Batch)

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened to room temp
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (or less to taste) vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-4 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream (do not use milk – trust me)
  • food coloring of choice

Frosting & Assembly Instructions:

  1. Put softened butter in the bowl of your mixer
  2. Using the paddle attachment, start whipping the butter.
  3. Put in the pinch of salt and the vanilla
  4. Carefully incorporate the powdered sugar on low
  5. Add at least 2 Tablespoons of the heavy cream
  6. Once it is mixed together turn the mixer to med-high to high and let it rip.
  7. Check it often to see if it is the consistency you want and also to ensure it is getting nice and fluffy.
  8. Put completed frosting into a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice. I used a large star tip for mine.
  9. Pipe onto completely cooled brownie bites and add a Hershey kiss to the top, pressing down slightly!

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Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

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