Sunday, November 20, 2011

Perfectly Pinterested Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner: Caramel Filled Brownies and Beautiful, Easy Mums

by Darla

I’m posting on a Sunday. This is totally weird. It’s like I’m in the Twilight Zone or something, except in color, and with baked goods instead of, like, scary aliens or murderous dollies.

Several weeks ago, as I was perusing Pinterest for nothing in particular, I came across this gorgeous photograph of flowers laid out in a lovely ombre pattern. I was inspired (of course…that’s why these Perfectly Pinterest posts happen….it’s like Pinterest does something to my brain and I can’t make it stop until I create what was inspired in the first place). As soon as I saw it, I thought of another Pinspiration that would be perfect in bringing these to the edible world for me. Ironically, this particular pin isn’t anymore edible than the one pictured above.

I pinned this onto my Crafty Clever boards months ago, because…well, I mean…look at it. They’re just beautiful! The original tutorial can be found here via not martha.

I haven’t made the felt version yet, but I used the excellent tutorial as a guide for my very own marshmallow fondant version, and they turned out gorgeous! They look like they took forever to make, they took my brownies from “yummy but simple” to “yummy and WOW”, and yet they’re easy as 1-2-3! Gotta love stuff like that.

Alright…before I get into the mad simple mum tutorial, here’s the 411 on the brownies.

I made two batches of my favorite brownies. They’re fast, they’re easy, and they’re de-freaking-licious. Once they were cooled, I placed one batch top side up on a cake stand and covered the top of it with caramel sauce. Alright…in all honesty, let’s go ahead and admit that we could stop right here and be happy. I mean, really…I would be.

But I didn’t stop there. Instead, I placed the second batch of brownies, face down, on top of the caramel covered first batch. Mmmmm – giant brownie caramel sandwich.

Next, I frosted the whole thing with my chocolate buttercream from my Death by Chocolate cupcakes. Here’s a fun fact: when I made those cupcakes, back in the beginning of October, I froze half of the frosting. That’s what I used on these brownies. I simply removed it from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature until it was thawed, then spread it on.

This frosting was frozen for just over a month in a lidded container. When it was thawed, it was still creamy, smooth, and delicious. It spread onto the brownies beautifully, and it was incredibly easy to smooth out. So…YAY! Easy to make, easy to freeze, super yummilicious chocolate buttercream.

Okay…here’s where things get wild. I poured a big batch of rich chocolate ganache on top of the brownie cake, letting it drizzle over the sides, because chocolate ganache makes everything better. Yum.

I could have stopped there. The brownies would have been mighty tasty, you’re right. But instead, I decided to just go all out and drizzle more caramel sauce over the top. I don’t regret my actions one bit.

Not. One. Bit.

Now. Seriously, you can stop here, and you have an amazingly delicious, easy dessert that adds something different to your Thanksgiving table…or you can dress these babies up in their holiday finest. :)

The mums (I settled on my flowers being mums, cause they look most like them)are super simple…and before you get wrapped up in how time consuming they must be, stop right there. They really aren’t that bad. Really. I made all eleven of the mums on my brownies, plus two extras that I didn’t use, in about five minutes per mum. That’s just over an hour for a baker’s dozen of lovely fondant mums.

You also need to take into consideration the time for coloring and rolling the fondant, but that’s a given. Cutting and assembly time was a mere five-ish minutes for each flower (which gets faster with practice).

Let’s get started, once your fondant is tinted, you’ll need to cut simple circles out. I made small, medium, and large mums, so I cut two different sized circles out. I used the smaller circle for both the medium and the small mums and the large circle for the large mums.

Next, you’ll need three different sized petals. The petals should be teardrop shaped, or close to it. In the felt tutorial, they cut squares out, then cut those into pointed petal shapes. You can do this with fondant, too, but I highly recommend using cutters like the ones found in Wilton’s flower making kit. They’re much easier, more consistent, and way faster.

Once you have your petals cut, brush a small amount of water onto the rounded or flat end (NOT the pointed end). Gently fold the rounded end together and pinch lightly, allowing the water to “glue” the folds together. Voila! Mum petal. :)

Tip: I cut all of the large petals out at the same time, then fold and glue them all before moving on to the medium. Again, I cut, fold, and glue all of them before moving onto the smallest petals. Doing this prevents the fondant from drying out too much after it’s been cut, which also prevents cracks from forming in the petals. As always, all of your fondant should be stored in a plastic bag, or under plastic wrap when not in use.

Using more water as glue, place the petals on the fondant circle. The largest petals will go on first. I averagesd 11 large petals on the medium flowers, and 13 on the large flowers. Try to fit as many petals as you can – the more, the better.

After adding the medium and small petals (on the smaller flowers, you can skip the smallest or even the largest petals, and just use two sizes, rather than three), I cut a small daisy out of the fondant. Fold the daisy in half once, then again and glue it into the center of the flower.

Aren’t they pretty?? And seriously, weren’t they easy?!?! I pretty much only did three rows of petals on the large mums, but you can do them all however you like – they look so lovely anyway.

Once all of my mums were complete, I did my best to recreate my original ombre inspiration across the top of the brownies.

Maybe I shouldn’t say this…it’s probably conceited…but I think these are the most beautiful brownies ever. I’m sorry for that moment of patting myself on the back, but really, I adore the way these look. From the frosting, to the caramel, to the mums…everything about these brownies makes my heart smile.

I’m so proud of these, and I’d be thrilled to add these to the dinner table on Thanksgiving day. Their colors and design work perfectly for the holiday, and brownies are a nice change from your typical turkey day desserts (especially when you’re not a pumpkin pie fan…like me).

Plus, as much as the prettiness of these made my heart smile…the taste of them made it sing! Enjoy!

2 recipes Brownies

1/2 recipe Chocolate Buttercream

1 recipe Chocolate Ganache

at least 1/2 recipe Caramel Sauce, salt optional

Marshmallow Fondant

Recipes by Darla

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Blog is the New Black November 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm



2 shutterbug November 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm

The brownie looks so decadent and oh-so pretty!


3 Lea November 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

This is wonderful. SOOOO beautiful – bravo!


4 Monica November 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm

OMG, they are adorable.. and now you have inspired me to keep this one on my own Pinterest wall to try in the future!


5 Michelle November 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Forget being trying modest — these ARE beautiful brownies. I’d really feel bad eating them; they’re way too pretty. Those MMF mums add so much interest, too!


6 Choc Chip Uru November 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

You have made me want to devour brownies for breakfast – what a classic idea of layering brownies together! I bet you could use marshmallow fluff instead or peanut butter or nutella!!! Whatever I will though the caramel filling will really give my own caramel brownies a run for their money!!!


7 Anna Bee November 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

This cake is stunning! I would love to taste it and since I was looking into making something chocolate and caramel for the Thanksgiving dinner, this might just be the one i’ve been looking for. Thank you for sharing! Your cakes are always mouthwatering!


8 buttercream bakehouse November 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Wow! What a great idea. Looks pretty and yummy.


9 alyssa November 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm

That cake is gorgeous, I wish my creativity extended to cake decorating. With my birthday coming up I might just have to break out the fondant and try!


10 christy November 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm

this is seriously gorgeous…i am sharing it on my facebook page


11 DannyBeth November 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Absolutely divine! These are the perfect Thanksgiving (or any special occasion) dessert! Great post.


12 Stephanie November 20, 2011 at 7:24 pm

OMG I’m dying. These are so cuteeee!! This is what I was originally going to do, but I think you have changed my mind!!


13 Becca November 20, 2011 at 7:36 pm

This has got to be the best and most beautiful looking brownie I have ever seen. You did such a magnificent job!


14 Andrea November 20, 2011 at 11:54 pm

These are so UNBELIEVABLY beautiful! So beautiful that I can forgive your distaste for Pumpkin Pie. ;) Pat away! I think you have all of our permission! I wish I had room/time to make these for TG. There are only 6 guests and there are 3 desserts already (including a Maple Walnut Pumpkin Pie that I will be testing on the fam). :)


15 Naina @ chow bella November 21, 2011 at 7:16 am

this is absolutely gorgeous, and the brownie looks to die for!


16 Lior November 21, 2011 at 7:21 am

you were inspired ….. now i am!!!
looks gorgeous !!!


17 Kathia November 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

Not only this brownie looks beautiful, but it also looks delicious. I love the fondant flowers.


18 Cookbook Queen November 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

These are probably the best brownies I’ve ever seen. No kidding. Love them!!


19 christina @ ovenadventures November 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

You rock my world!


20 Maria November 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Wow, this one is too pretty to eat! Maybe:)


21 shelly (cookies and cups) November 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Gorgeous! That is like brownie cake…genius!


22 abegail November 22, 2011 at 9:16 am

This great for dessert..So delicious…I want to try it..


23 bindiya November 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm

hi Darla,

did you freeze the cake before frosting it with butter cream. It’s so prefect;y done :)
When i try to frost my cake… i get crumbs all over the butter cream.

HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


24 bindiya November 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm

hi Darla,

did you freeze the cakes before frosting.. its perfectly done :)
when i try to frost mine.. i get crumbs all over my butter cream.
HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


25 Darla November 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Hi Bindiya, I didn’t freeze this recipe, but they came out great because they’re brownies, so they are firmer and have less crumbs. However, when I make cake, I do chill it before frosting. Also, and very importantly, I “pre-frost” the cake. In other words, I spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake to seal the crumbs in, then I do my final coat of frosting. You can see an illustration of this in this post: I hope this is helpful!


26 bindiya December 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm

thank you so much :)
cant wait for the weekend to try the brownie out


27 Ziona Bates November 25, 2011 at 8:57 am

I follow your site frequently for inspiration, not so much for recipes, but after a long search for the perfect brownie I thought I would give yours a try. I have to say this recipe is fantastic and wonderful. Simple, fudge-y and a little cake-like at the same time. This brownie was exactly what I was looking for and I just wanted to say thank you.


28 Suzanne November 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I love how smooth and glossy your caramel sauce looks. I’ve just been obsessed with getting an apple cake just right and the caramel sauce gave me the most trouble. I can’t wait to try your recipe next time.


29 bindiya December 27, 2011 at 11:28 am

hi Darla,
i made these awesome brownies for my Christmas dinner and it was huge hit.

thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes and creative idea :).

i have a small request.. can you please post a video tutorial for frosting a cake,, no matter how hard i try i can never get it right.. it would be a huge help


30 Ana April 24, 2012 at 9:06 am

SIMPLEMENTE ESPECTACULAR!!!!. Gracias por compartir tus fabulosas recetas


31 Susie May 25, 2013 at 10:53 am

Beautiful brownies! But those aren’t mums, they are straw flowers.


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