A fun dessert with an eerie underworld glow.
We started with a box of brownie mix and turned it into a halloween graveyard scene complete with cookie headstones, marshmallow ghosts, and graham cracker coffins lit from below using glowsticks.
This was pretty quick to make, and you could easily modify our design to fit whatever ingredients you have on-hand.
We made ours for a halloween party and had to cut it up ourselves so people would stop taking pictures and start eating it. :-)
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Step 1: Layout the Graveyard
Bake a pan of brownies in a glass dish. Any kind of brownie mix will do, but you must bake it in a glass dish. We added some walnuts to the batter before baking so there would be "rocks" in the brownie "dirt".
Make some cookie "headstones". We used a serrated knife saw through some Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, but anything that is roughly headstone-shaped should work. Make sure the cookies you use are smooth on at least one side so you can write on it frosting later. Do not push the headstones into the dirt yet, we'll do that at the end after applying the green frosting "grass".
Break some graham crackers into small rectangular "coffin lids" and place several of them to mark the "graves" we'll dig up in the next step. Try to keep the breaks clean, since these will be visible at the end. Keep at least one empty grave between each graham cracker "coffin lid" unless your brownie "dirt" is really hard/strong.
We decided that two rows of five graves looked right in our dish given the size of the headstones and coffins we had, but using a different (reasonable) layout probably wouldn't cause any problems.
Step 2: Dig Out the Graves
Use a sharp knife to cut "graves" under each of the graham cracker "coffin lids", and then dig each of them out with a spoon. We left the cookie "headstones" in place to make sure there would be space for them later.
Save all the brownie "dirt" you dig out. We'll use that later to create some "fresh graves" and "grave mounds".
Make sure each hole is just barely big enough for a "coffin lid" to fall all the way to the bottom on the dish.
Use a moist paper towel to clean off the dish that is now exposed at the bottom of each "grave". If this isn't clean, the eerie glow feature we add in the very last step won't work very well. We didn't figure this out until the end, which is why you don't see any pictures with the exposed dish clean, and it was a little frustrating/messy to do it at the end after the frosting "grass" had been "planted".
Step 3: Plant Some Grass
We were in a hurry, so scooped some store-bought white frosting into the mixer and added a couple drops of green food coloring.
For best results, add some grated coconut and mix the frosting on low speed for a while until it gets a little stiff (but not too stiff to spread).
Then spread the green frosting "grass" across the entire top of the brownie "graveyard".
If you don't want to use coconut and are worried that the "grass" looks too smooth, try using the flat side spatula (the scraper kind) to give it a little texture. Letting the flat (or slightly convex) side of the spatula rest on the frosting and then lifting it straight up should work.
Step 4: Bury Some Coffins
Now it's time to make some graham cracker "coffins"
Use a serrated knife to saw graham crackers into sides and ends for your "coffins". These coffins do not need a bottom, just two sides and two ends. (lids come later)
It turned out that the depth of our "grave" holes were exactly half the width of a graham cracker "coffin lid", so we just cut a bunch of graham crackers in half to make the sides of our coffins. Depending on the depth of your "grave" holes, your side and end pieces might need to be taller or shorter.
Now we're ready to start decorating!
Step 5: Decorate the Graveyard
Now it's time to set your creativity loose. Here's what we did:
Put some marshmallow ghosts (or other edible characters) in some of the coffins, but make sure they're not so big they block out the eerie glow (next step) and consider leaving at least one coffin empty. And you don't have to put a coffin lid on every coffin either.
Use some of the brownie "dirt" you saved to create mounds for a couple "fresh graves". It's OK to eat the any left over "dirt" after this step. :-)
We also used some extra frosting "grass" to make "grave mounds" and planted colorful cookie sprinkle "flowers" on them.
Use a frosting tube with a fine tip on it to write "R.I.P." or other messages on your cookie "headstones".
We found some random candies that were about the same size as our cookie "headstones" and used them to use them as headstones (after removing the sticks).
Step 6: Add the Eerie Underworld Glow
The last step is to use some glowsticks to add an eerie underworld glow.
Arrange several yellowish green glowsticks in another dish or pan that is slightly larger than the dish in which you baked your brownies. We happened to have another glass dish that was just the right size, but a cookie sheet would have worked just as well.
We only had five glowsticks on hand, so placed one directly beneath each of our four "grave" holes and the fifth in the remaining open space. If we had more, we would have used them to make the eerie underworld glow shine out the sides of the dish in addition to shining up through the "grave" holes.
Place a sheet of wax paper on top of the glowsticks to act as a diffuser, and set the dish in which you baked your brownies on top to make sure everything fits together.
The glowsticks last a while, but don't activate them until just before you're ready to unveil your creation.
That's it. Now you can make your own Halloween Brownie Graveyard!
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