With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking about rich and delicious treats to make that can be easily shipped to friends and loved ones. I settled on a classic dessert with an added twist –– Martha’s favorite rich, fudgy brownies enrobed in melted chocolate and topped with a few festive details.
You can find these desserts and others sold exclusively in the Martha Stewart American Made Market, or you can try your hand at making your own. Here’s how I made Martha’s recipe my own!I followed the recipe exactly, but poured the completed batter into silicone baking pans to make individual hearts and squares, as opposed to cutting the shapes from a sheet of baked brownies. I’ve found that baking individual shapes makes covering the brownies in chocolate much easier and allows for a smooth finished product.
Prepare brownies according to Martha’s Brownie Hearts and Bites recipe. After the brownies have cooled, remove them from their silicone baking pans. Now it’s time to cover them in chocolate!
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Melt 1 lb. of Merckens Dark Chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl over simmering water; when completely melted, cool the chocolate slightly.
- With a fork underneath, hold brownie over the bowl and spoon chocolate over the top, making sure the top and all sides are completely covered and smooth.
- Allow any excess chocolate to drip off, and using another fork, slide the chocolate-covered brownie onto the cold baking sheet. The cold will help the coating to set quickly and prevent a pool of chocolate from spreading at the bottom of the brownie. Additionally, Merckens and other chocolate candy coatings are more viscous than chocolate chips, which is why they work so well for this.
- Let chocolate-covered brownies set at room temperature until the chocolate is completely hardened. I like to use an offset spatula to move the brownies to a tin for shipping and gift-giving to prevent fingerprints on the chocolate.
Although they’re beautiful on their own, the smooth chocolate is the perfect canvas for a personalized message or design. After all, what better occasion than Valentine’s Day to gild the lily?
For snowflake or lace design:
I created stencils using food-safe acetate sheets and Martha Stewart Crafts punches. Hold the stencils taut over the tops of the chocolate-covered brownies and lightly spray over with edible food-color spray. Wait a few seconds to remove the stencil, and voila!
For hearts and messages:
Using a pastry bag with a small tip (or a heavy zip-lock bag with a tiny corner cut off), pipe designs or messages with cooled melted chocolate onto the brownie. Then sprinkle the chocolate with nonpareils (pink in this case) and gently shake off excess. I like to put the brownie into a Tupperware container so that excess nonpareils are contained.
If I have any extra melted chocolate, I stir in chopped nuts or dried fruit, pour onto parchment paper, and top with sel gris to make a quick bark.
Find Tobia Bakes in the Martha Stewart American Made Market for custom dessert ideas.