Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the cocoa, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla into a large mixing bowl stir until the cocoa is fully incorporated, and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Add dry ingredients all at once and gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together. Stir only until the ingredients are mixed. Too much stirring makes the brownies tough.
Place foil (paper cups will shred, so using foil is important) baking cups into 2 12 cup muffin tins. Spray with cooking spray or grease with shortening. Fill the cups 2/3 full with the brownie mixture.
Place in oven and bake until the mixture is just set and lovely cracks appear on the surface of the brownie bites—about 15-20 minutes. Remove cups from tins and let brownie bites cool.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the cocoa, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla, and blend until the mixture is fully mixed. Add the milk, a tablespoonful at a time, and continue beating the frosting. When the frosting looks glossy and forms soft peaks, it’s ready to use.
Frost the brownies in their foil cups.
Garnish with pecan halves, or the garnish of your choice.
(Other options for garnishes include everything from mini-chocolate chips to a sprinkle of coconut to a fan of candy corn –cute in the fall—to white chocolate curls to chocolate covered coffee beans to peanut butter cups to peppermint patties to other chocolates. Tailor your garnish to your anticipated diners. If you’re feeding mostly adults, go for sophistication. If you’re feeding lots of kids, raid the candy store. The pecan halves are a compromise—both adults and kids like them, and the people who don’t like nuts can easily remove them. But the sky’s the limit as far as garnishing these goes.)
I love these... so pretty, so delicious.
Hope you enjoy!
Hey, by the way, did anyone watch IRON CHEF on Sunday? Was that fun, or what? To me it felt like I was watching my character, Ollie, up there competing with all the "big names" in the culinary world. First female White House Executive Chef. You go, Cristeta!!