This recipe is originally from a Pampered Chef cookbook called Celebrate and they are originally called Tuxedo Brownie cups. But I made just a couple changes to make them a little more festive for Christmas.
The brownie cups themselves are just a packaged fudge brownie mix plus the ingredients to make cakelike brownies (usually 1/4 water, 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 2 eggs). Mix the brownie batter like you normally would for brownies. Then using a mini muffin pan, put a small scoop of brownie batter in each cup, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 14 minutes, until edges are set. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Immediately press tops of brownies with a mini tart shaper (or the back of a small spoon or even your thumb) to make indentations. Let brownies cool completely.
For the topping, melt 2 ounces of white chocolate with 2 TBSP milk for about 1 minute in the microwave. In a separate bowl, combine 1-8oz package of softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Mix well, then gradually stir in the melted white chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping like Cool Whip. For the peppermint version, I also added about a teaspoon of peppermint extract.
If you have a Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator with a star decorating tip, it makes life so much easier for things like this. If you don't, you'll want something like a icing/decorating bag and a decorating star tip that you attach to it. Otherwise, you could just use a spoon too but it may not look as pretty.
|easy accent decorator from Pampered Chef|
So fill your decorator or icing bag or whatever with the topping and pipe out a small dollop on top of each brownie cup. The original version decorated each cup with a slice of strawberry and a mint leaf. For my peppermint version I sprinkled crushed peppermint candies. You could also drizzle with melted chocolate for either version! Then they suggest refrigerating them 1-3 hours before serving.
This recipe makes about 4 dozen and it can easily be halved or doubled for however many you need. The brownie cups can be made up to 1 day ahead but the topping should not be made until you're ready to pipe it as it will become too hard to decorate with after being in the refrigerator. And a little side note: make sure you grease and flour the muffin pan before putting the batter in. They can get a little sticky!