It Wouldn’t Be Christmas Without Elfin Brownies

It’s beginning to smell, sound and look like Christmas around here. With my renovations done as of yesterday (thankfully!), my house is restored to a better version of its normal state, just in time for some last-minute Christmas baking. Come to think of it, my Christmas baking is often last-minute, but without such a good excuse.

The recipe I chose to start with is from my well-used edition of The Canadian Living Christmas Book. It’s called Brownie Miniatures, but I like to refer to these bite-sized treats, presented in a whimsical Christmas decorated baking cup  and topped with a swirly chocolate Rosebud, as Elfin Brownies.

I’ve lost track of how many years I’ve made these, but I have lots of happy memories of Jenn, Jon and Mere helping to top the little brownies, hot out of the oven, with the chocolate treats. My nest is empty, but I know that my now-adult children will be happy to see these little gems on the Christmas dessert tray. And I look forward with joy in my heart to the day in just a year or two when my granddaughters help me make them.

Elfin Brownies

Preheat oven to 350º

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 3 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 30 Chocolate Rosebuds

Probably the most challenging part of this recipe is separating 30 miniature baking cups! You might want to get these ready on a baking tray prior to assembling the ingredients.

In a saucepan, melt the sugar, butter and chocolate over very low heat, stirring until just melted and combined. Remove from the heat for a minute or so to cool. Stir in the egg and vanilla, then gently fold in the flour until just blended. (Did I mention this recipe is super easy?)

The cups that I use hold one teaspoon of batter. I used to pipe the batter into the cups, but a measuring teaspoon works very well with less fuss. The batter easily slides out of the spoon into the paper cup.

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes until the brownies are set. They will rise and may be slightly cracked on top. Remove from the oven and immediately top with the chocolate Rosebuds (the bottoms will melt and adhere to the brownie).

Don’t these look pretty on the plate? I think Santa would appreciate a few of these left out for him with a glass of bubbly (he’s getting enough milk at all those other houses).


  1. What a great idea, perfect for Christmas! WIth so many treats and dishes to taste and enjoy, going miniature gives guests a chance to sample a little more of the bounty. And, yes, why must it be so hard to separate baking cups?

  2. I was really pleased with the way the photos turned out; among my best indoor food pics so far. Of course,everything looks good with a Christmas tree and multi-coloured lights in the background. 🙂

  3. I too have been making these every year since about the late 1980’s. They are so easy and look so nice on a tray of cookies with the coloured paper liners and I throw some red, white and green sprinkles on top. thanks for posting it, as I was in Bulk Barn and couldn’t remember if it was unsweetened or semisweet chocolate so googled it and there it was. Thx again. Making them today for Church bazaar this Saturday.

    • Nancy, it was an utter delight to receive this comment! It’s lovely to see how recipes that are special to my family are also part of others’ traditions and memories. I hope yours went over well at the bazaar!

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