Well, Halloween is finally just around the corner! Since my boys are all grown up and the majority of them are married, dressing up as a ghoul, goblin or ghost is a thing of the past in our home. But… I’m still stuck on all the mini chocolate bars that are available on the supermarket shelves (since August I might add).
This year, I decided to pay tribute to one of my favorite Halloween movies of all time, “Hocus Pocus.” Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker were cast as the evil witches, remember?
While scrolling through Pinterest, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by all the Hocus Pocus inspired desserts coming up on my feed. It’s then that I decided to take my favourite brownie recipe, add a twist and try to replicate the Spell Book you see here.
Oh, and these candy eyes? I just HAD to have them even though they were only going to be used for this specific shoot. A few years ago, I was on the hunt for candy eyes and they were sold out everywhere. I finally found them and ended up HORDING a few packages which I never bothered using again. The smaller eyes were just not going to cut it for this recipe, so instead of constantly watching them fall out of my pantry every single time I look for something, I used them on the set as a prop!
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie and have no idea what I’m talking about, these brownies are modeled after Winifred’s spell book given to her by the devil himself. So, if the devil himself had baked these brownies, I’m positive they would be dark, decadent, delicious and lousy for your waistline. That’s how I came up with the recipe for a “notYOstandard” brownie here.
These are super moist and loaded to the hilt. I used three kinds of chocolate here: Milk, Semi-Sweet and Dark then laced the brownie batter with coffee so that my husband would give them a second look.
Coffee is 100% the secret weapon behind boosting the flavour in chocolate desserts. You don’t need a lot to bring forward the rich flavours here, but just enough to give it some OOMPH.
What’s the secret to a perfect brownie?
Here’s my opinion:
- super DE Duper chocolaty and moist on the inside
- a chewy bottom crust and edge
- a shiny, crackly top crust (which you can’t really see here because of the chocolate coating but you will see if you make these without all the fancy stuff)
- best thing ever? No muss or fuss, these are a ONE BOWL wonder. Who needs to clean when you can do it all in a single bowl?
One trick I tried with these, thanks to a recipe I saw on Pinterest, is to ensure that the brownies are fully cooled and slightly frozen. I actually baked mine, cooled them, then cut them into squares and popped them into the freezer overnight to ensure they were fully hardened. The reason behind this is that it makes coating them in chocolate a heckuva lot easier. You are working with large squares so you don’t want them to crumble when you dip them. PLUS, the chocolate hardens really quickly on frozen desserts. Win, win !
These are so perfect to serve at Halloween. Not only are they adorbs but also quite magical. Why? They will disappear right before your eyes. As my dad used to say, HOCUS POCUS GUADA LOCUS. Happy Halloween!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
- ¾ cup salted butter (1½ sticks) melted
- ¼ cup milk chocolate chips
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, set aside (note, you can use one type of chocolate if desired and measure out ¾ cup total)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup good quality cocoa powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Chocolate Coating
- 2 cups (16 oz) mixed milk and semi-sweet or dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Large Candy Eyes
- Black Icing
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease 8×8″ (or 9×9″) baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper with an edge hanging over for easy lifting.
- Place sugar and coffee granules in medium mixing bowl.
- Cut butter into small cubes and place in microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring between intervals, until melted. Cool for a few minutes then add to bowl with the sugar and coffee. Whisk to combine.
- Using the same dish that you used to melt the butter, melt the milk and dark chocolate chips, stirring every 15 seconds. Whisk melted chocolate into butter/sugar mixture and then whisk in eggs and vanilla.
- Sift in flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir just until combined and pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining semi-sweet chocolate chips and partially swirl into batter with knife.
- Bake in preheated oven (on middle oven rack) for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a little moist brownie but not raw batter. Cool for at least 30 before slicing into 9 pieces. Once completely cooled, place in freezer friendly zip bag for at least one hour or overnight.
- Make your chocolate dip by melting the two cups of chocolate with the coconut oil either in the microwave stirring at 30 second intervals or in a double boiler (always my preference). Once chocolate is melted, let it cool at room temperature for ten minutes.
- Remove brownies from freezer. Dip each brownie into the melted chocolate, tossing with a fork to coat. Let any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Once all the brownies are coated, place back into the freezer for 10 minutes to harden.
- Decorate with candy eyes and ice. Here's what you are going for as far as the spellbound book look.