Have you ever tried the infamous ‘Be My Valentine’ iced brownies? I can’t help but snag a box when they’re in stock because they’re so good. There’s just something about the chocolate shell and the layered chocolate cake that is nearly irresistible.
So of course I had to try making some for myself, and let me tell you, these are by far one of my favorite desserts I’ve ever shared with you.
If you want to go full homemade, try my Ooey Gooey & Fudgy Zucchini Brownies which will give the richest chocolate flavor. The key to this recipe is the method in which it is cooked, not the brownie batter itself. That being said, you can save time and money (like I did…) by using your preferred store-bought mix.
Click here for the full list of ingredients for homemade zucchini brownie batter.
- Brownie Batter of choice
- 1/4 cup whipped vanilla icing
- 12 oz. dark chocolate callets
- Aluminum tray
- Piping bag or bottle
- Parchment paper
- Tall lid—I’ll explain later!
- Heart-shaped cookie cutter (approx. 3″ in size)
- Two insulated baking sheets no smaller than 16″ x 22″
This recipe is a bit different than others as step one is not quite step one in the process of getting ready to make it. Step one of this process begins with raw brownie batter, prepared in your preferred method. There’s nothing wrong with saving some time and money making this with a store-bought mix.
If you’re going to go with a boxed mix, I recommend picking one without the extra chocolate chips in the mix. Not only are these often more expensive, but the recipe calls for enough chocolate that you don’t need more in the mix to compensate for the overall flavor.
- Prep your baking sheet with a generous coat of cooking oil. You do not have to be too excessive with this, but make sure you do not miss any spots and you’ll want a little extra in the corners. If your pan has many scratches and you are concerned the brownies will stick, you can alternatively add a piece of parchment as well as some spray underneath the edges and along the lip of the pan.
- Pour your raw brownie batter into the pan and cook at the recommended temperature. If you’re referencing my zucchini brownie recipe, I’ll save you a trip back to that post: set your oven to 350F
- Bake for around 18 minutes, checking at the 8-minute mark and every 3-5 minutes afterward. When the top begins to get the signature flaky look, cook for 3 additional minutes before removing it from the oven.
- Place your second baking sheet on top of the cooked brownies, bottom side up. The hollow cavity between the brownies and their new lid will continue to steam-cook them with their own lingering internal heat.
- Wait for the brownies to cool almost entirely before handling them again. Begin to loosen the edges with a butter knife by sliding it between the edge of the brownies and the pan. Make sure to keep the knife straight upward during the first go-around before slightly angling under the edge during a second pass.
- The brownies should be cool and loose from the pan edges before you continue. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the brownie pan. Fold the furthest edges of the paper over the pan and hold taught before flipping the brownies out and onto your parchment-protected workspace.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out the shape of your treats. Alternate the direction the heart faces to get the most out of your brownies. When you have seemingly run out of brownies to cut shapes from, you can stack the edges of the trimmings and fold over some parchment to press it out into a dough of sorts. These pieces will be fudgier and less cakey than the others so keep that in mind while pairing them up later. Pop them into the freezer for no less than an hour but feel free to come back to this the next day if you want!
- The brownie hearts are ready for icing once they’ve firmed in the freezer. Use a butter knife to add a layer on half of the chilled pieces. If you are unsure of how much icing to use, act as though you are icing each piece like a cake, though you want clean edges for the next step.
- Stack each of the pieces without icing on top of a piece with icing to create brownie sandwiches. Pop them into the freezer again for another hour. While waiting, you’ll want to find something tall to place the brownies on before spreading the chocolate over them. I used a lid to a water bottle but you can get pretty creative with this. The key is to find something food-safe that is smaller than the brownies themselves so that you can pick up the brownie by the bottom edges later.
- Prepare your dark chocolate before removing your brownie sandwiches from the freezer to make things easier on yourself. Most chocolate callets recommend pouring into a microwave-safe dish and microwaving for 15-30 second intervals. You may need to change to half-power settings depending on the wattage of your microwave, so be sure to check the packaging of the callets for advisory information.
- Once the chocolate is fully melted and your brownies are fresh out of the freezer, you’re ready to add your base layer of chocolate. Place your brownie on top of your makeshift platform and add a dollop of chocolate, about 1 tbsp. to start. Starting from the center and working out, use a butter knife to push the liquid chocolate over the edges. It should fall smoothly while hot, though you can use your knife like a spatula when it begins to stiffen up while cooling.
- Working quickly, dip your knife in the chocolate to keep a generous coat on it and smooth the edges of the brownie hearts. Don’t worry about coating the bottom of the brownie sandwiches as they will hold together fine as-is. Place on parchment paper as you are done with each piece, lifting from the bottom edge to avoid covering your hands with chocolate.
- Once all the brownies are covered with a thin layer of chocolate, you’re ready for the decorative drizzle. Use a piping bag with a metal tip or piping bottles to add a striped drizzle of the remaining chocolate to elevate your sweet treat experience. You may want to clean up some of the hardened chocolate around the base of your platform before doing this since it can be melted down again. Be sure to place them on parchment before adding the stripe so you don’t get chocolate all over your workspace!
To avoid burning the chocolate while melting, you’ll want to wait to reheat your chocolate until absolutely necessary. When pouring, some will stick to the edge of your container.
Quickly stir this back down into the rest to retain heat between pours and give it all a quick stir before adding more to each brownie.
This recipe was one of my favorites to attempt so far and I hope you have as much fun as I did while making it! There may seem to be a lot of steps, but they’re easily broken up over a day or two. I recommend making the brownies and punching out the shapes in one day if you want to break things up, but there’s no harm in making it all in one day either.