These easy ghost brownies are ideal for any spooky Halloween celebration! The brownies are rich, delicious and so simple to make, and the brownie tops are decorated with a sweet marshmallow meringue shaped into a little adorable ghost. They come together quickly, yet look so impressive. Perfect for all your ghostly celebrations!
Make the Brownies
Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius). Grease and line an 8-inch (20 centimeter) square baking pan with parchment paper. Let the parchment paper slightly over hang the sides.
Place the butter into a medium sized saucepan set over medium-high heat. Heat the butter, stirring occasionally, until it is golden and melted. Remove the butter from the heat and pour it into a large sized mixing bowl. Immediately add in the dark chocolate into the butter bowl and let it stand for 1 minute to slightly melt. Stir to combine until smooth.
Add in 10.6 ounces / 300 grams of the granulated sugar, and again, stir to combine until smooth.
Once the sugar is combined into the mixture, add in the eggs, one at time, until combined. The mixture should be thick and glossy. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the vanilla bean extract.
In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, dutch processed cocoa powder and salt.
Add the dry flour ingredients into the chocolate batter. Fold it in with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.
Add in the walnuts (or other nut of choice) and stir until combined.
Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth down the top with a rubber spatula. Bake, for 35 to 45 minutes or until the edges are firm and the top is glossy and cracked. The center of the brownie should still be slightly soft.
Let the brownie cool in the pan for 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to let cool completely.
Once the brownie has completely cooled, transfer it to a clean work surface. Then, using a 6 centimeter circular cookie or biscuit cutter, stamp out as many mini circles as you can out of the brownie. Set the circles aside for assembly.
Make the Marshmallow Meringue
Place the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (alternatively, you can use a handheld electric whisk). Whisk, on medium speed until the whites for soft, foamy peaks.
Pour in the remaining 4.3 ounces / 120 grams of granulated sugar into the whisking whites and increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Continue to whisk until the meringue forms stiff and glossy peaks. Whisk in the remaining 1 teaspoon of the vanilla bean extract until combined.
Assemble the Ghost Brownies
Set the brownie circles on a small cooling rack. Place the marshmallow meringue in a large pastry bag and snip off the tip. In the center of each brownie circle, begin to pipe the marshmallow meringue to form small 'ghost-like' shapes.
Melt the milk chocolate. And then, using a toothpick or wooden skewer, dip into the melted milk chocolate and transfer the chocolate to the meringue to form faces on the 'ghosts.'
You can leave the marshmallow meringue ghosts as they are, but if you have access to a kitchen blow torch, you can use it to singe the tops and sides of the meringue ghosts until they form a deep brown charred shade.
These ghost brownies are best served at room temperature on the day of making, but can be kept in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Let them stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
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Thalia Ho is the self-taught baker, law student and author behind French-inspired food blog, butter and brioche, which chronicles her culinary explorations, sweet adventures and travels.