There was a point in time where my kitchen turned out a kitschy holiday dessert at every occasion. As I’ve expanded my horizons as a baker, my I’ve moved away from themed holiday desserts, often trading them for more complex desserts highlighting seasonal flavors, but there’s just something about the sunshiney pastels of Easter that draw me to the candy aisle. It’s impossible to stay away — the speckled eggs and brightly colored peeps brings never fail to bring smile to my face. I can’t resist grabbing a bag (or two) and the ensuing sugar rush brings with it a sense of nostalgia for childhood Easters filled with frilly dresses, backyard egg hunts, and wicker baskets bursting with bunny-shaped chocolate and jelly beans. So for this month’s Sweeter Side, we’re having a little Easter-themed fun.
The brownie cups are slightly adapted from this Bon Appetit gluten-free recipe, which has been a staple in my kitchen since they released it in January. It’s genius and delicious and the brownies stay moist for weeks. Gluten lovers won’t even know they’re flourless. I’ve made a couple tweaks to make the recipe a little more kid friendly (less tahini, sweeter chocolate) but you could certainly use the original recipe for a deeper chocolate flavor.
To complement the nutty flavor of the tahini in the brownies, I’ve topped these brownie cups with tahini frosting but to make these even more kid-friendly skip the tahini and use your favorite peanut butter. And to really highlight Easter’s best, I’ve topped the “baskets” with one of my personal favorite Easter candies — Cadbury Mini Eggs. They’re the cream of the crop in my opinion, but use any Easter favorite you’d like. Enjoy!
For the gluten free brownie cups:
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the tahini buttercream:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
For the garnish:
- Chocolate eggs (I used Cadbury)
- To prepare the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously grease a 24 serving mini-muffin pan with coconut oil or butter or line with mini baking cups then set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift the cornstarch and cocoa powder and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- In the microwave or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, coconut oil and tahini together and stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Slowly add in the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until no lumps remain and the batter is smooth.
- To easily fill muffin tins, scoop batter into a large freezer sized Ziploc bag. Snip of of the corners and gently squeeze the batter into greased muffin cups until almost full. The brownies will only rise slightly.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly crackly on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack to cool.
- To prepare the tahini buttercream: Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the tahini and beat another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar and salt and mix on low until combined then turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until smooth.
- To assemble: Remove the cooled brownie cups from the pan. Pipe the tahini buttercream around the edges of the brownie cups and top with three chocolate eggs.