Take your classic, crinkly top brownies but make them Halloween themed! These Halloween monster brownies are thick, fudgy, decadent, and so much fun to make for spooky season with their chocolate-covered pretzel monsters. Tis the season of spooky and scary and make these festive brownies! BOO!
Why you will love these halloween monster brownies
- They are super fudgy and chocolatey. This brownie recipe has a whopping 1 ½ cups of cocoa powder. Regular cocoa powder or dutch processed cocoa powder work here. I honestly like to use a mixture of both. Fudgy brownies have a higher fat to flour ratio than cakey ones, so we use a lot of butter in this recipe.
- They have a shiny, crackled top. I have tried many methods to achieve this, and the trick that I have found works the best is to make sure the sugar is COMPLETELY dissolved in the batter. The sugar first dissolves in the butter, and then we mix the butter/sugar mixture into the eggs and whip so the sugar is also dissolved in the eggs. I guarantee if your sugar is completely dissolved, you will have a shiny, crackled top.
- The pretzel monsters. Not only are they so cute, but they are fun to make. And who doesn't love chocolate covered pretzels? These brownies are amazing by themselves, but add M&Ms, Oreos, and chocolate covered pretzels and you will have me addicted.
- All purpose flour: all purpose flour is the flour of choice for these brownies. It makes for the perfect soft and tender texture.
- Cocoa powder: both regular unsweetened cocoa powder or dark (dutch processed) cocoa powder work in these brownies! Use one, or the other, or a mix of both! But make sure to use good quality cocoa.
- Instant coffee: although not necessary, mixing instant coffee with a little water and adding it to the batter really deepens the chocolate flavor.
- Unsalted butter: unsalted butter is the butter of choice so we can control exactly how much salt goes into the recipe. We use A LOT of butter in this brownie recipe, so make sure to splurge on the good stuff.
- Sugar: powdered sugar is the sugar of choice. This is because powdered sugar is fine enough so it dissolves into the butter more easily than granulated sugar. This is key to having that shiny, crackled top.
- Eggs: we use four eggs in this recipe and we whip them until they are frothy/foamy. Not only does this help in the rise of the brownies, but it also gives that meringue like texture in the crackled crust.
- Oreos, pretzels, M&Ms, white/dark chocolate, black licorice: these are all of the ingredients you need for the spooky monsters on top!
- Melt together the butter and powdered sugar until the powdered sugar is completely dissolved in the butter.
- Whip the eggs by themselves until they are a paler yellow color and foamy. Pour the butter/sugar mixture into the eggs and whip for two minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract & coffee mixture (optional) and mix until combined.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and fold together until a batter forms.
- Pour the batter into an 8x8 inch pan and bake for 40-45 minutes at 350F.
- Make the pretzel monsters and stick them on top of the brownies. Cut and enjoy!
Brownie baking tips
Don't over mix.
Over mixing the brownie batter can cause the brownies to sink in the middle. Make sure to only mix the brownies until the dry ingredients are just incorporated, not any longer.
Use powdered sugar.
Powdered sugar easily dissolves into the butter which is key for that shiny, crackled top. Melt the butter and powdered sugar and whisk vigorously. This mixture then gets poured into whipped eggs so the sugar is dissolved into the eggs as well.
Don't over bake.
Brownies continue to bake even when they are removed from the oven, so the centers may still seem a little underdone when you take them out.
With most baked goods, they are finished baking when they are "golden brown." This is obviously hard to tell with a dark dessert like brownies, so look at the texture instead. The edges will be set and slightly peeling away from the sides of the pan and the center will be puffed up.
Baking in grams
While I provide volume measurements for the recipes on my blog, I highly suggest baking these recipes using weight. It is the most standardized and accurate way to bake. I carefully recipe test all of my recipes using a kitchen scale, not by using cups, and therefore I cannot guarantee the success of my recipes when using volume measurements.
Other recipes you may like
Halloween Monster Brownies
- ¾ cup (94 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups (120 grams) cocoa powder unsweetened regular cocoa powder or dutch processed cocoa powder works!
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules + 1 teaspoon water optional
- 1 ¼ cups (283 grams) unsalted butter
- 4 ¼ cups (510 grams) powdered sugar
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4-5 large pretzel twists
- 4-6 small pretzel twists
- white chocolate melting chips
- dark chocolate melting chips
- black licorice
- M&Ms yellow or orange colored
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) and line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- I suggest having all the ingredients out and measured to make this process easier.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- If using the coffee, combine the instant coffee granules and water in a small bowl until the granules are completely absorbed. This is optional but recommended - the coffee really deepens the chocolate flavor.
- In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar. Melt the two together in the microwave in 30 second increments, whisking in between each increment. I typically microwave it 4-5 times. Whisk them together until completely smooth and the powdered sugar is dissolved in the butter. It should almost look like melted white chocolate. You can also melt them together on the stove.
- Meanwhile, whip your eggs. Crack the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a medium sized bowl if using a handheld mixer), and beat them on medium speed for 4-5 minutes until they are a paler yellow color and foamy.
- Once the eggs are done whipping, pour the hot butter/sugar mixture into the whipped eggs. Whip them together on medium speed for two minutes. Add the vanilla and coffee mixture (if using) and whip until combined.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt and fold together (not whisk) until a batter forms. Whisking will knock out all of the air you just added by whipping the eggs.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are set. Let sit at room temperature until completely cool.
- These are optional, but so fun and festive!
- I made the small pretzels with white chocolate and the large owl pretzels with dark chocolate, but feel free to mix and match and do your own thing!
- For the white chocolate monsters: melt your white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring well in between each increment until completely melted. Coat the small pretzel twists in the melted white chocolate and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle melted white chocolate across the entirety of the pretzel, then stick on two candy eyes. Repeat with all of the small pretzel twists. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.
- For the dark chocolate owl monsters: split the Oreos in half and keep the sides with the cream for the owl eyes. Place one candy eye in the center of the cream of each Oreo. Cut up the black licorice strips into 1 inch pieces and stick them in the Oreo cream above the candy eye of each Oreo. Set aside. Melt your dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring well in between each increment until completely melted. Coat the large pretzel twists in the melted dark chocolate and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle melted dark chocolate across the entirety of the pretzel. Stick the two eyes you made onto the pretzel, then stick a yellow or orange M&M in between the eyes to create a nose. Repeat with all of the large pretzel twists. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.
- Once the brownies are cool, remove them from the pan and arrange the pretzel monsters on top of the brownies. Carefully cut around the monsters. Or cut the brownies first, then top with the monsters. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!