Valentine’s Day gets a lot of grief from an ever-growing anti-Valentine crowd. The “nonbelievers” (as I shall call them) seem to think that it’s not a “real” holiday. Another excuse is that you should show someone you love them every day and “not just on Valentine’s Day.”
So, maybe Valentine’s Day has become overly-commercialized, unlike St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras, which are “real” and happily-celebrated holidays (at least by the non-believers that I know). And maybe it has been hijacked by greeting card and candy companies, unlike those other real holidays (I’m lookin’ at you, Christmas and Easter).
I happen to like Valentine’s Day. Possibly because I have a
severe medium addiction to chocolate and will happily celebrate any holiday that make it acceptable for me to receive an entire box of it, but also because it’s a pretty easy holiday. I only have one gift to buy, only one other person to feed, and I don’t have to binge-drink 1,000 pounds of green food coloring. (Red food coloring is way better for your health, true story*)
*Totally not a true story. Just made that up to support my argument.
Of course, Valentine’s Day is not about candy or presents, and you don’t need a special day to show someone that you love them (If you are only showing affection one day out of the year, there may be many issues at play there). The BF and I do little things for each other every day, but going out of your way to not celebrate a day that is dedicated to the one(s) you love just seems like a silly concept.
To me, at least.
So, even if you do something special every day, why not do it on February 14th? What did February 14th ever do to you?
Even if you don’t have a sweetheart, you can spread the love to your friends and/or co-workers. What’s wrong with having just one more day of the year that you can show the people you love (or just the people you spend your day with) that you care?
And, even if you’re still not convinced… Even if you’re still set on being a Valentine Scrooge…
Even if you “don’t believe” in Valentine’s Day…
I’m pretty sure that you probably believe in brownies.
So, Scrooge, make these brownies on the 13th, or the 15th, or make them in April for all I care.
Make the frosting orange or blue or whatever color you want, crush up the hearts and sprinkle them on top, broken and shattered.
But please, don’t take your hatred of Valentine’s Day out on these poor, innocent brownies. Don’t let your Scroogeness (totally a word) prevent you from trying these delicious, bite-size morsels.
So make these for your sweetheart, or your friends, or your co-workers, or yourself.
Not super into the whole chocolate/strawberry combo? The frosting recipe for this is like the easiest thing ever and infinitely adaptable. You can just replace strawberry jam with the flavor of your choice: Raspberry jam? Peanut butter? Nothing at all? Whatever floats your boat.
After I made these, I totally realized that I did a strawberry and chocolate combo last year for Valentine’s Day, too. What can I say, chocolate and strawberry is the BF’s favorite combo, and Valentine’s Day is all about him.
Well, for me it is. Hopefully not for you. That would just be silly. (Plus I would totally fight you.*)
*Just kidding. I love you. It’s Valentine’s Day. Have a brownie.
Valentine Brownie Bites with Strawberry Marshmallow Frosting
Makes: 24 mini brownie bites with frosting
Note: Following the recipe from its source yielded WAY MORE than the 24 mini brownies that it claimed, I’ve provided the halved recipe below, which should give you enough for 24 brownie bites and frosting for each.
For the brownies:
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 5 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 7-ounce container of marshmallow fluff
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup seedless strawberry jam
- pink or red food coloring, if desired
- decorations, if desired
Make the brownies:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a mini muffin tin with 24 of the cutest mini paper liners you can find.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just incorporated.
3. Spoon into 24 prepared mini paper liners and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes of baking, turn the heat off and leave pan in the oven for another 5 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing individual brownie bites to a rack to cool completely. The tops will be dry and slightly cracked.
(To make in standard muffin tins, bake for 19-20 minutes at 350°F, then turn off the oven and let sit for another 10 minutes before removing from the oven. Cool in the pan 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to complete cooling.)
Make the frosting:
1, In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add marshmallow fluff and continue beating until combined. Add the powdered sugar and mix to incorporate, then and the jam and continue beating until it is evenly distributed.
At this point the frosting will be a light pink or red color depending on the jam you used, you can beat in food coloring (I did) to achieve your desired color.
2. Top brownie bites with frosting and sprinkles. I scooped the frosting into a gallon-size ziplock and cut off one of the corners of the bag making an opening between ¼ to ½ inch in diameter. Gently squeeze frosting into the cupcake, creating a frosting “bubble”.[ Adapted from: A Farmgirl’s Dabbles ]