Halloween Brownies

Post image for Halloween Brownies

by Amy Flanigan on October 26, 2009 · 25 comments

Rewind a year ago.

Trevor was only six months old; happy to be in his bouncer seat and stare at the ceiling fan. And Haley, at 2 1/2, was still too young to go trick-or-treating, IMHO.

BUT…she wasn’t too young to help me hand out candy to the other lucky kids.

It was an unusually warm late October evening (storm door still closed, but temps high enough that we could have the main door open), so Haley and I stood in the foyer and waited to see little tots stroll up the walkway. Every time someone did, she would announce it to me, as if I couldn’t see them myself. We would both jump up and down and scream “Yea! Yea!”

Princesses and Super Heroes came. Monsters and Pirates. Dinosaurs and Barnyard animals. And some completely unidentifiable costumes that were still adorable. Haley got to place a treat in each bucket and she beamed ear to ear. We had quite a turn out. It was the best Halloween ever.

Present day.

Haley is now 3 1/2 and she is SO ready to dress up and be on the other side of that door. Trevor is running, long outgrown the bouncer seat. He’ll stay home with one of us and take Haley’s vital manning-the-front-door position. It’s much colder this year, but we’re ready.

To start the ball rolling, I put on my festive hat and made these Halloween brownies, courtesy of Ms. Betty Crocker. They didn’t taste extraordinary or anything. Your basic brownie (and by basic, I still mean totally yummy.) The difference is with the food coloring you use in the cream cheese mixture. I spent $6 to use eight drops of food coloring. Oy. But, it was worth it.

Don’t have kids? Think orange and black are ugly? Hate Halloween? Well, okay. These brownies don’t care. And neither will you. Make up a batch, anyway. They’re fun.

Note: do not let the overall time discourage you. The actual hands-on time is practically nothing, the rest is spent cooling.

Halloween Brownies
Makes 24 squares
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 45 minutes (including cooking, cooling, and refrigerator)

• 2 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 4 drops red food coloring
• 4 drops yellow food coloring
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 box brownie mix
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup water
• 2 eggs

Heat oven to 350. Grease or spray bottom only of a 13×9 inch pan.

In a small bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir brownie ingredients until well blended.

Spread 3/4 of the brownie batter in the pan. Spoon the filling by spoonfuls evenly on top of the brownie batter. Spoon remaining brownie batter over filling. For marbled design, pull knife through the batter and filling in wide curves. Turn pan and repeat.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and mixture is set. Cool completely at room temperature (about an hour.) Then refrigerate for an hour until chilled. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

Note: when you blend the cream cheese with the food coloring it might appear somewhat pink. Don’t worry – it turns orange as it bakes.

(originally from Betty Crocker)

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim November 1, 2009 at 10:50 am

What a great Halloween idea. The swirls are so ghostly/spooky. I’m all for boxed brownies. I like to throw some extra goodies in every now and then, but I seriously do not have the palette to taste the difference between homemade brownies and boxed and baked. I love em. I ate brownies for breakfast today. For lunch, I’m back to chocolate bars. Tis the season to scare yourself with how much sugar you can ingest and still crave more.


Screamin' Mama October 31, 2009 at 12:22 pm

My mouth is watering!! Looks divine!


Donna October 28, 2009 at 9:27 am

Yes so definitely worth the 6 bucks Id say. Perfect for Halloween, love the swirls.


maybelles mom October 28, 2009 at 7:41 am

we were just talking about how halloween is a great way to mark how quickly the kids grow up–last year ours trickertreated for the first time and I was just pregnant. I love these brownies; they are so seasonal.


nora@ffr October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm

This is absolutely mouth watering yum… i must try this brownie!!
happy Halloween and cheers!!


Dad October 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Oh, sure, in the true spirit of Halloween you leave Paul home with the cake, and you take Haley out to collect sugar and trans-fats! I guess that pretty much covers the scary part.


Jennifer October 27, 2009 at 11:29 am

These look so ooey, gooey yummy.


Amy October 27, 2009 at 10:32 am

Jude – such a post won’t come from me…I wouldn’t know what to say. BUT, perhaps a guest post is in order?!


Jude October 27, 2009 at 10:20 am

Mixed drinks? Always.

Looking forward to your post on those.


Mike October 27, 2009 at 8:16 am

Those look good! And all you need to do is change the food coloring to red and/or green for holiday brownies at the end of the year, right?


Amy October 27, 2009 at 10:12 am

Jude – or maybe you have mixed drinks on your mind ;-)


Sharon October 27, 2009 at 9:45 am

Never would have thought to add color to the cream cheese – festive for many occasions, as Mike suggested. We just finished your apple cranberry crisp, so this one might be next!


Jude October 27, 2009 at 9:42 am

I meant mixer. Not blender.

These items are foreign to me. I confuse them.


Jude October 27, 2009 at 9:41 am

Another simple recipe. From a mix, even! Hope I don’t need a blender.

Halloween is the best holiday. It should be a national day off to prep for the trick-or-treaters, decorate the house and drink cauldron cocktails. Who needs kids?!


Amy October 27, 2009 at 8:51 am

Mike – Oh, I like the way you’re thinking!


Joanne October 27, 2009 at 5:48 am

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this, but isn’t it amazing how much they grow up in a year? What is Haley going to be for Halloween? Can’t wait to see some pictures, I bet she will be adorable.

These Halloween brownies would DEFINITELY get me in the spirit of the holiday. If I weren’t already completely enamored with it. Delicious.


Natasha - 5 Star Foodie October 26, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Those are perfect for Halloween, the orange swirls are very neat!


Natashya October 26, 2009 at 7:23 pm

I like the orange streaks.
Have fun trick or treating!
My kids are grown, hubs & I just drink wine on the deck and hand out candy. :)


daphne October 26, 2009 at 7:11 pm

These looks sooo cool! I love the orange swirls too- Very jaffa like!


Jessica October 26, 2009 at 4:05 pm

I love the orange swirls! It looks like marble cake, and I agree with Pam (comment 1), you can’t go wrong with brownies!


Amy October 26, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Melissa – I totally had YOU in mind when I wrote that. LOL. Love ya!!!

Heather – I thought about you while I was actually making these…PERFECT for a Halloween birthday girl.

Dani – she was set on being a princess until yesterday. Now she’s going to be a pink butterfly. I’ve informed her she cannot change her mind again this late in the game! You have a great Halloween, too. Your grandkids are lucky!


Dani October 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Booo-tiful! Love it! and can’t wait to try it for Halloween with my grandkids. What’s Haley’s costume going to be? She’ll be adorable, I’m sure. Hope you and your family have a great Halloween, Amy!


Heather October 26, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Those look super cool and yummy. I may have to make those for my Halloween birthday girl. :)


Melissa October 26, 2009 at 3:04 pm

“Don’t have kids? Think orange and black are ugly? Hate Halloween?”

Check, check aaaand check. :P Can’t wait to hear about Haley’s first though!


pam October 26, 2009 at 7:45 am

I have never met a brownie recipe that I didn’t love!


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