Easy Valentine Brownies with a surprise inside

I’ve pulled out my heart-shaped muffin tins, cake tins, springform pan, ramekins, cookie cutters, lollipop molds, waffle irons and pancake forms. I’ve stocked up on chocolate. I’ve begun my February baking.

These easy-to-make brownies are made with a recipe I’ve used ever since my two sons were in grade school. A woman who had children going to the same school shared her recipe. It’s the kind of brownie that delivers a slight crunch as you bite through to the moist, chewy inside. It’s my kind of brownie.

The filling, though, is a new twist. When I was doing my Christmas baking last December, I made some chocolate thumbprint cookies with a dab of coconut-pecan filling in the middle of each. I had some filling still remaining after making the cookies, so I put it in a small, tightly sealed container and stored it in the freezer for another time. I thought it would be a nice filling for these brownies.

The layer of coconut-pecan filling gives the brownies a touch of elegance. The filling can be made a day or two before making the brownies. Store it in the refrigerator.

I spooned the same chocolate mixture over these brownies that I used as one of the layers in Chocolate and Raspberry Cream Tarts.

I baked the batter in 1/3-cup capacity heart-shaped muffin tins. And, I used some of the batter to bake a Valentine to share in a heart-shaped ramekin, as you see in the photo at the top of this post. My husband and I shared it the other night. We added a big puff of whipped cream to the plate and dipped every forkful of coconut-pecan brownie before it went into our mouths. Decadent!

The brownies can be frosted with your favorite frosting or just dusted with powdered sugar. Make them now and eat them, or freeze them until you’re ready to start sharing with everyone you love.

Valentine Brownies with Coconut-Pecan Filling

  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Coconut-Pecan Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Make coconut-pecan filling by combining sugar, evaporated milk, 1/4 cup butter, vanilla and egg yolk in saucepan. Blend well. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease heart-shaped muffin tins.

Sift cocoa, flour and salt into a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Blend well. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix just until they disappear into the batter. Spoon brownie batter into prepared cupcake tins, filling 1/3 of the way to top. Flatten a heaping tablespoon of cooled coconut-pecan filling and layer over brownie batter. Cover completely with more brownie batter, filling just about to the top of each cup. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until done. Allow to cool slightly in pan. Remove brownies and cool completely on wire rack.

Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting or make a rich chocolate topping by melting 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels with 3 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until chocolate is melted. Allow to cool slightly. Spoon over brownies. It will get firm at room temperature.

If you’d rather not frost the brownies, just dust with powdered sugar and nestle a scoop of premium ice cream over the top at serving time.

Makes 9 brownies when using 1/3-cup capacity cupcake tins.

19 thoughts on “Easy Valentine Brownies with a surprise inside

    • Thanks, Arlene. Food photography is always a challenge. I’m always learning and practicing. I use only natural light. It gets to be tricky when you live in the woods!

  1. Where did you find the cute mini-heart tart pans? I did a little searching on the internet but didn’t like anything I found. I want to try the recipe and have a large tart pan, but the little ones would be so fun!

    • Eve, I’ve had my single-serving mini heart tart pans for a few years, I think. I don’t remember where I purchased them. I found them on the Wilton web site where it shows they are no longer available. Maybe you will find some on ebay. I would think there would be something similar available in another brand. If you don’t find them, make a full-size Chocolate and Raspberry Cream Tart. It may not be as cute as miniature tarts, but it will taste just as delicious.

  2. Pingback: Surprising Valentine Brownies and Recipe Roundup | The Heavy Table - Minneapolis-St. Paul and Upper Midwest Food Magazine and Blog

  3. Drooling! Your photos are gorgeous and you can bet I’ll be making these as soon as I get home from freezing cold Massachusetts! The snow has given me a serious hankering for some warm, fudgey, chocolately brownies – these seem like the perfect way to satisfy that craving! Can’t wait. Thanks again for the recipe.

    • Rachel, I made more of these brownies last night, using heart-shaped mini-muffin tins. I ate one while it was still warm. Oh, wow. Amazing. Get home and start baking!

  4. you may find the heart tart shaped pans at@Sweet Celebrations Inc. (www.sweetc.com) a Twin Cities Co.

  5. These look so delicious and fun to make! Last year for Valentine’s Day you made peanut butter oatmeal pop hearts. The recipe is no longer on your blog. My family loved them! Unfortunately I never copied down the recipe. Would it be possible to still get it?

    • It’s hard for me to understand, but you are right, Susan. There are some who don’t care for coconut. Try pushing a mini-peanut butter cup or a Rolo candy into each brownie before baking. Very yummy!

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