Brownie Pinecones Will Get You Into The Holiday Spirit

Your dinner guests might not remember the holiday meal after the fact, but they'll certainly remember dessert. To that end, if you're preparing tasty treats over the holidays, you have to make sure your desserts not only taste delicious but are also a feast for the eyes. You could make pecan pie (the favorite holiday dessert of 24% of Mashed fans), or you switch it up and make brownie pinecones. Just as the name implies, these festive delights are brownies disguised as edible pinecones, and they scream holiday winter wonderland.

There are several variations of the brownie pinecone, but essentially, it's a baked brownie that's formed into a triangle or mound. Once the brownies are shaped after baking, they're decorated with Coco Pops, Kellog's Choco cereal, or simply chocolate pieces. Using cereal, in particular, gives the treats spiked edges and a brown color, making them nearly identical to pinecones. To make this dessert even more festive, you can dust powdered sugar on top to imitate freshly fallen snow. If that doesn't sound delicious enough, you can pour an easy caramel filling into the brownie, creating an oozing, molten center.

These treats are easy to customize

Kellogg's Chocos cereal is an ideal choice for decorating your edible pinecones, but as it's primarily sold in the U.K. and parts of Europe, U.S. bakers may have difficulty locating it. (While you can purchase the cereal on Amazon, it will probably cost you a pretty penny.) Luckily, there are plenty of easy substitutions. Chocolate Chex Mix, for example, isn't exactly the same shape, but you can easily place it around your brownies to mimic the appearance of pinecones. As for the filling, if you're not a fan of caramel, you can simply leave the brownies plain or fill them with the jam or nut butter of your choice.

Brownie pinecones are perfect for holiday parties, as they make perfect individual desserts. While many of the recipes out there call for homemade brownies, you can easily use boxed brownie mix to save time. As for how to devour the dessert? If you're looking for efficiency, simply split one of the pinecones in half and enjoy it in a few bites; those wanting to take their time, however, can start with the outside, picking off all the cereal before digging into the brownie underneath.