Frowny Brownies | Recipes | PBS Food

Recipe by Michael Procopio. Take this idea and run with it! Feel free to make happy brownies, frowny brownies, or whatever expression you would like. You can also read the story behind these whimsical brownies in a full post on the Bay Area Bites food blog.


Yield: 9 brownies


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for greasing
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1⁄ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1⁄ 4 cup flour
  • 1⁄ 4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1⁄ 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325°. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper; grease the paper. Set pan aside.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, since one cannot imagine Miss Hepburn using anything else. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter. Add the walnuts, flour, and salt; stir until incorporated. Pour batter into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Remove from pan and cut into nine squares.
  3. Mix the powdered sugar and water in a small bowl, making a smooth, thick icing. Place icing into a piping bag fitted with a fine, plain tip, or place in a zip-lock bag, cutting a very small amount off one of the bottom corners with scissors. Pipe two blank, disappointed-looking eyes and a frown onto each brownie. Serve.
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