Day of the Dead Brownies are inspired by the ancient Aztecs. I made these Aztec Day of the Dead Brownies for my best friend’s son Caleb’s birthday present. His birthday is on Halloween. You could also make them any time of year and just change the marzipan top. I used the Crystal Skull at the British Museum as my reference when making the marzipan forms. Spane helped and he did a great job.
I suppose I am brownie challenged, or lazy. One of these days, I promise to make brownies from scratch, but for now, the Betty Crocker Frosted brownies in the box had Box Tops (you need those when you have a child in a public school), they’re good, and easy to make.
Making Day of the Dead Brownies
But, I wanted the brownies I was making for Caleb to be special. Considering that Halloween precedes the Day of the Dead celebration, I thought it would good to put some of the spices the ancient Aztecs used in their chocolate.
Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by Mexican indigenous civilizations perhaps for as long as 2,500–3,000 years. The festival fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the god known as the “Lady of the Dead”, corresponding to the modern Catrina.
In most regions of Mexico, November 1 honors children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honored on November 2. This is indicated by generally referring to November 1 mainly as Día de los Inocentes (“Day of the Innocents”) but also as Día de los Angelitos (“Day of the Little Angels”) and November 2 as Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos (“Day of the Dead”).
- 1 package Betty Crocker Brownies with Frosting
- 2 eggs, makes a more cake-like brownie
- ¼ teaspoon Chipotle Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ cup oil
- Black Sesame Seeds
- Black Writing Gel
- Prepare the brownies according to package directions, adding the cinnamon and Chipotle powder.
- Put the frosting into a bowl and add the empty the first pack of black writing gel into it. Mix thoroughly.
- When the brownies have cooled, frost them and cut them into 12 bars.
- If you are working with the marzipan that comes in a tube, then use a slice about a 1/8 inch wide. Mold the piece of marzipan in your hand to that it has the desired shape.
- Use the plastic top of the writing gel to make the eye impressions. It's nice and round and does a good job. Put a drop of the gel in each eye socket.
- Use the sides of the plastic top to make the mouth, and carefully put black sesame seeds in for teeth.
- Put the brownies on a nice serving dish, and enjoy!
If you want the brownies to be really, really spicy, increase the amount of Chipotle Powder.
You can shape the marzipan into any shape you want, and if you do not want black frosting, you can omit the black writing gel.