These trays can be made for practically any occasion and can be specialized for different seasons, events, or completely random. Every year, we make these trays for most of out family parties. The trays shown below have an Easter theme. These are fun to make for 4th of July cookouts, Christmas parties, and birthday events. The frosting can be dyed almost any color, sprinkles can be found in many different themes, and M&M's now come out specialized for any holiday.
The instructions for this dessert tray will be in seven steps. We will first look at the ingredients needed for each dessert. We will then begin the brownies and put them in the oven. While they are baking, we will make the almond bark mix. When the brownies are done cooking, we will frost them. After the brownies and almond bark mix are complete, we will finish with baking and decorating the sugar cookies. Finally, the trays will be made up and enjoyed. I hope you enjoy making these as much as everyone else enjoys eating them!
Step 1: Ingredients and Materials
¼ cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 box of Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies: Traditional Chewy Brownie Mix 13x9 Family Size
2/3 cup chocolate chips
Pam (or similar cooking spray)
Pillsbury White Funfetti frosting (with sprinkles)
Liquid measuring cup
Medium-sized mixing bowl
Fork (or something to mix with)
9”x13” cake pan
Almond Bark with M&M’s
12 oz Almond Bark
12.6 oz bag of M&M’s
Corningware (1.5 qt) or other large microwaveable bowl
Wax or parchment paper
Sugar Cookie cookie dough (16.5 oz)
Step 2: Make the Brownies
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray bottom and lower half of sides of the 9x13 cake pan with Pam.
3. Crack eggs in liquid measuring cup.
4. Remove any shells from liquid measuring cup then put in mixing bowl.
5. Add specified amounts of water and vegetable oil to mixing bowl.
6. Mix eggs, water and oil well.
7. Add powder brownie mix to mixing bowl.
8. Stir batter until no powder is left.
9. Add chocolate chips and mix in.
10. Pour batter into 9”x13” pan and spread evenly.
11. Put pan in oven for 17-20 minutes once oven is done heating.
~If you like your brownies really soft or slightly gooey, leave in for a shorter amount of time.
Step 3: Make the Almond Bark Mix
Almond Bark Mix Directions:
1. Break up almond bark into squares and put in microwaveable bowl.
2. Put in Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
***CAUTION: The bowl will be hot when you take it out of the microwave, so use oven mitts!
~If it is not completely melted after 2 minutes, put it in for 30 second intervals until melted.
3. Stir until smooth.
4. Put in M&Ms and stir.
~mix them in quickly or the M&Ms will smear the bark.
5. Pour the mixture on wax/parchment paper.
6. Using rubber scraper, spread mixture until it is slightly thicker than an M&M.
7. Wait for it to harden.
~To quicken this process, slide the paper with the almond bark onto a cookie sheet and put in freezer.
8. Once hard, break into pieces.
~The pieces should be no larger than the brownies.
Step 4: Finish Brownies
Brownie Decorating Directions:
1. Take brownies out with oven mitts and test if they are done by sticking the tip of a toothpick into the center.
***CAUTION: Pan will be very hot. Use oven mitts to remove and handle pan
*If it comes out with batter sticking to it, put the brownies back in for another minute or two.
*Be aware that a melted chocolate chip could stick to it, so look closely to see what is sticking.
2. Let brownies cool for about 10 minutes then cut into squares.
*I usually cut the ends off to make the brownies look more attractive.
*These squares can be as small or large as desired. I usually try for 2”x2” brownies.
3. Put 1/3 cup of frosting in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 15 seconds on high.
4. Drizzle frosting on cut brownies.
5. Put desired amount of sprinkles on brownies.
6. Let sit until frosting firms up.
* This can be quickened by placing in the fridge or freezer.
Step 5: Make Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookie Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Open cookie dough.
3. Roll dough into balls a little larger than a quarter.
4. Place twelve cookie dough balls on an UNGREASED cookie sheet.
5. Put cookie sheet in oven for 8-10 minutes.
~Remove when tops begin to brown.
***CAUTION: Cookie sheet will be very hot! Wear oven mitts when handling cookie sheets!
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until all dough is baked.
7. Let cookies cool for 5-10 minutes.
8. Frost 3-4 cookies then put on sprinkles then repeat until all cookies are frosted.
9. Let frosting harden.
Step 6: Make the Trays
You can add a small bowl of M&M's Reese's Pieces or other candy in the middle of the tray. For larger trays, add Hershey Kisses. A lot of different types of candy now come in seasonal colors or different flavors that are identified by color. This is another pretty addition to the Dessert Tray.
Be creative and have fun!