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Brownies & Bars

  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees – perfect for Christmas! Rich, dark chocolate brownie bites are topped with vanilla frosting and sprinkles in this adorable holiday dessert

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)
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    I’m so weird (read: obnoxiously picky) when it comes to “decorated desserts”. I don’t know if it’s from working in professional pastry kitchens for so long, or just my personal style, but I loathe cheesy desserts. Novelty cakes that are supposed to look like a hamburger and fries? I hate it. And those cakes built around a Barbie body that are supposed to look like a dress? Don’t get me started, they literally give me nightmares.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    But desserts that are kitschy, that’s a different story. Kitschy is good. Kitschy is the right amount of cutesy and tacky without being cheesy. Like anything by Panko Bunny? Adorable. But anything by Yolanda Gampp? No thanks. Ro Pansino falls somewhere in the middle, but she’s done videos with the love of my life Markiplier so she’s on my good side.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    These little brownie trees? Adorably kitschy. Plus they’re fun and easy to make. And delicious, which is obviously the most important part. This is my favorite brownie recipe. It’s not nearly as sweet as other brownies, which is a good thing. It’s got a much richer, dark chocolate flavor that is amazing on its own, but pairs super well with the sweet vanilla frosting.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    Side note: I did use candy melts (which aren’t vegan) for the star on top, simply because I made them for my non-vegan family and I knew my nieces and nephews would love the little yellow stars. You can order vegan candy melts or star candies online.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees

    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time25 mins
    Total Time40 mins
    Servings: 12


    Dark Chocolate Brownies

    • 1 cup vegan butter melted
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • scant 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 4 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3/4 cup water
    • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cup AP flour
    • 1 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 2 cups dark chocolate chips or 2 cups chopped dark chocolate

    Vanilla Frosting

    • 3/4 cups vegan butter cold
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
    • big pinch of salt
    • green food coloring
    • vegan sprinkles for decorating


    For the brownies:

    • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
    • Mix together the flax and water and let sit until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Combine melted butter, oil, and sugar and mix until well combined.
    • Add flax and vanilla.
    • Sift together the dry ingredients and fold into the wet ingredients.
    • Fold in chocolate. Pour into a parchment-lined 9"x13" pan. Make sure to lightly spray the parchment, it'll make cutting the brownies much easier!
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes until brownies are set. Let cool completely.

    For the frosting:

    • In the stand of a bowl mixer, cream the cold butter until pale in color and super fluffy, about 7-10 minutes.
    • Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and pinch of salt, then gradually add the powdered sugar. Mix again on high until the frosting is super fluffy.

    To assemble:

    • Add the desired amount of green food coloring to the frosting and mix well.
    • Using 3 different sized circle cutters, cut circles out of the brownie and set aside.
    • Using a piping bag fitted with a star tip, pipe frosting onto each piece of brownie in a circular pattern. Stack from biggest to smallest and top with sprinkles and a small yellow star (I used candy melts and a mold, but you can use anything you want!)


    You may get more or less brownies depending on the size cutter you use. I used a 2" round cutter for the bottom layer and went smaller from there.
    Brownies should be kept refrigerated until served to keep the frosting from becoming too soft. Brownies will keep in fridge for up to 3 days, or wrapped tightly in freezer for up to 10 days.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies – Peanut butter cookie base topped with chocolate chips and peanut butter cups, a dessert for all my fellow peanut butter lovers!

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)I love peanut butter. Mix it with chocolate, put it on toast, just give me a spoon and I’ll go to town on a peanut butter jar. It’s protein! It’s good for me! (This is me lying to myself.)

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)
    Here’s a fun fact! On multiple occasions, I’ve made myself sick from eating too much peanut butter. This is because I don’t have any sort of self-control. My boyfriend likes to say I have a ‘too-much gene’, which basically means that everything I do is over the top, past the realm of what other people would consider normal. For example, I have too many tattoos and listen to too much music. And I put too much peanut butter on things.

    These Peanut Butter Cup Blondies are proof of me letting my ‘too-much gene’ run wild and honestly? I’m ok with that. It’s what my whole blog is about.

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)

    How to Make Peanut Butter Cup Blondies:

    These Peanut Butter Cup Blondies start with a peanut butter cookie base. And if you’re not a blondie lover? You should be. Blondies always taste like big slabs of cookie, and there’s NOTHING wrong with that.
    Then you fold in dark chocolate chips and dark chocolate mini peanut butter cups. Bake it until it’s golden brown, then drizzle it with melted peanut butter. As a result, you get this messy masterpiece of peanut butter and melty chocolate.

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)

    And if after all this you still have a peanut butter-chocolate sweet tooth, check out some more peanut butter & chocolate recipes:

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time20 mins
    Total Time30 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Servings: 12
    Author: Brit Wolfe


    • 6 Tbsp. vegan butter melted
    • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter divided
    • 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. water
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 heaping tsp. baking soda
    • 2 tsp. cornstarch
    • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
    • 1 cup chopped mini peanut butter cups I used Justin's!


    • Preheat oven to 350℉.
    • Mix flax and water and let sit 5-7 minutes until thickened.
    • Mix together the melted butter and 1/2 cup of the peanut butter.
    • Add the sugars and beat about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
    • Add the vanilla and the flaxseed.
    • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cornstarch.
    • Add the sifted dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined.
    • Carefully fold in half of the chocolate chips and chopped peanut butter cups.
    • Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined 8" square pan. Press the mixture lightly into the pan (it'll be very crumbly!).
    • Pour the remaining chocolate chips and peanut butter cups over the top and gently press into the dough.
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden brown. It's done when it's just slightly undercooked, like a brownie. It'll continue to cook a small amount once removed from the oven. If you stick a toothpick in the center and wet crumbs stick to the toothpick, it's perfect!
    • Let cool for 10 minutes.
    • Add the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave about 15 seconds. You want the peanut butter slightly runny, but not melted.
    • Drizzle the warm peanut butter over the bars.
    • Devour.

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.