1 package of Krusteaz Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
14-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
dried cranberries (for the nose)
mini pretzels (for the ears)
coconut oil (optional, if you want to thin out the chocolate)
24 lollipop sticks
Prepare the googly eyes the day before you assemble the brownie pops. In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Add the brown rice syrup, almond milk, and almond extract and stir. It might not look like a lot of liquid at first, but keep stirring. All the ingredients will bind together into a thick, sticky paste. Add a tiny bit more almond milk if the ingredients aren’t binding.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take a sandwich bag, and cut off a bit of the corner. Fill the bag with the paste, and pipe small dots onto the parchment paper. Don’t worry if they’re not perfectly circular as you’re piping. Top each dot with a mini chocolate chip, and use your fingers to shape the dots. Repeat until you’ve piped all the paste. You will end up with more googly eyes than you need for the brownie pops.
Remove the eyes from the baking sheet the next day.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray or olive oil.
Stir the brownie mix with the water, oil, and eggs until well incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 48 to 52 minutes. Let it cool for an hour to an hour and a half before making the brownie pops.
Trim the hardened edges of the brownies and eat them. You won’t be using them for the pops, and you deserve a treat. Crumble up the brownies. Take a very small handful of the crumbled brownies and shape them into a 1-inch ball. Freeze the balls for 30 minutes.
While the balls are freezing, take a cardboard box, and using a knife, create tiny slats. You’re going to stick the pops into these slats right dip them to allow the melted chocolate to set. If you’re not too fussed about the way the pops look, skip the cardboard box and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
To create the nose, tear up several pieces of dried cranberries. Pinch the pieces so that they look like a nose. To create the ears, break up the mini pretzels in half. Some pieces will break off into perfectly shaped Rudolph ears, but there will be many duds.
Microwave the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for a minute. Continue microwaving at 15-second intervals until all the chocolate chips are glossy. Stir the chips until you get a smooth chocolate mixture. I added 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut oil into the chocolate to thin it out.
Take out two brownie balls from the freezer. Dip the end of a lollipop stick in the chocolate, and stick it in the center of the brownie balls until it’s about halfway through. Dip the brownie into the melted chocolate until it’s covered.
Stick the googly eyes, nose, and pretzel ears onto the brownie pop. If the chocolate has cooled off before you’ve stuck on the appendages, just dip them into the melted chocolate and then stick them onto the pop. Lay the brownie pops flat on a lined baking sheet or stick them into the prepared cardboard box. You can remove them once the chocolate sets (it should take no more than 10 minutes). Take out another 2 brownie balls from the freezer and repeat until you’re done dipping all of them.
Store them in a sealed container (I used a freezer bag) in room temperature for a few days.
1. Googly Eyes adapted from Fork & Beans.[br]2. Make sure that you’re using a relatively thick sandwich bag for piping the googly eyes. Thinner bags with a seam at the bottom will burst (as I discovered).