Fireworks Brownies

Tomorrow, July 5th, we are having a big family get-together, and I was commissioned with making a dessert. I had the idea, at first, to make a flag cake for our delayed Independence Day celebration, but after a week of house sitting and with limited time to prepare, I wanted to make something simple that was still festive — brownies with frosting and a candy fireworks design.

So, this post is more of a decorating idea than a recipe. I just used a boxed brownie mix. I chose a Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge brownie mix, but you can use any kind you like or a favorite recipe. If you want to go with simplicity like I did and focus on the decorating, use a boxed mix and prepare it according to the directions.

I made a big batch in a 13 x 9″ pan. After letting them cool for a while, I frosted them with a can of store-bought chocolate buttercream frosting. This made a sticky surface in which to stick my candy fireworks.

My first idea was to buy special red, white and blue M&Ms for my fireworks designs. I know the product exists but didn’t find it when I was shopping. Instead, I bought regular M&Ms and found another candy I thought might work for fireworks — sour rainbow belts.

Sometimes, a failed Plan A is good for creativity. I thought to myself that fireworks, even July 4th fireworks, are not in patriotic colors only, so I could be more free to use any color. The rainbow belts were too wide to use for fireworks. I thought I could cut them into thinner strips. It turns out that I didn’t need to cut them width-wise. The separate thin color stripes easily peeled apart.

First, I prepared by tracing my fireworks designs lightly into the frosting with a knife, so I had a pattern to follow with my candies. You might not be able to see it perfectly, but the photo below should give you some idea.

I sorted some of my M&Ms by color and pulled the rainbow belts into thin colored strips and set to work creating my designs. I made a large starburst, a smaller one and a third shape that was more of a spiral burst. Dad made the suggestion that I should use a few short pieces of my sour strips that didn’t touch the center of that large burst. I thought that had a nice effect.

Here are my results: