What to Bring to a Holiday Party: Halfway Homemade Desserts

Halfway Homemade Desserts Caramel Marshmallow Brownies

Halfway Homemade Desserts Turtle Brownie Pops

Halfway Homemade Desserts Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cookies

Ready for the next installment of What to Bring to a Holiday Party? I already shared my favorite store bought chocolates, and today I have two holiday dessert recipes that use brownie mixes to reduce the preparation time. The thing about using a mix is that no one will know, unless you tell them! I am also sharing the most delightful separate and bake Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cookies. These halfway homemade desserts are sure to be a hit at your next holiday party.

Mixes are a great time and money saving shortcut. I used brownie mixes to create Turtle Brownie Pops and Caramel Marshmallow Brownies. All of the ingredients for these recipes were purchased at Aldi, which has become my holiday headquarters.

First up we have Turtle Brownie Pops. Cake pops have been hugely popular, and brownie pops are a fun easy variation on the dessert.

Halfway Homemade Desserts

For the Turtle Brownie Pops you will need:
1 box Ghirardelli Caramel Turtle Brownie Mix
plus the eggs, water and vegetable oil called for on the box
Lollipop Sticks
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Halfway Homemade Desserts Turtle Brownies

Halfway Homemade Desserts Chocolate

Step 1:
Combine the brownie mix with the eggs, water, and vegetable oil per the directions on the box. Do not add the caramel, save it for later. Bake the brownies at 350 degrees, following the directions on the box.

Step 2:
The brownies are done baking once a toothpick inserted into the middle of the brownies comes out clean. At this point remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool.

Step 3:
Use your hands to crumble the brownies. Place the brownie crumbs in a bowl. Add half of the caramel sauce you set aside. Mix until the caramel is evenly distributed. At this point the brownies will be sticky.

Step 4:
Form the sticky brownie crumbs into small balls and place them on a lollypop stick.

Step 5:
Pour the chocolate chips in a bowl. Then heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a slight bubble. Then pour the warm cream over the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate melts.

Step 6:
Dunk the brownie pops in the ganache. Drizzle with the remaining caramel, and serve.

Next we have Caramel Marshmallow Brownies – a really easy variation on classic fudge brownies that everyone will love. The way the caramel oozes out of the brownies makes them impossible to resist.

Halfway Homemade Desserts Brownies

For the Caramel Marshmallow Brownies you will need:
1 Fudge Brownie Mix
plus the eggs, water and vegetable oil called for on the box
Aldi’s Dark Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Caramels
Marshmallows (either cut in half, or mini)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Step 1:
Prepare the brownie mix according to the directions on the box. Pour the brownie mix into a baking pan. Press the caramels and marshmallows into the batter. Bake according to the directions on the box according to the size of the pan you are using.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Want something even easier? Aldi sells separate and bake Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cookies, and they are just as wonderful as the name suggests. I brought them into work and everyone thought that I made them from scratch… and I may not have corrected them…

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

These photos were all shot by my incredibly talented friend Regan Baroni who writes Up Close and Tasty.

This post was sponsored by Aldi, but the opinions are my own.

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  • Love it! These totally inspire me to bake more for the holidays.

    • thekittchen

      Thanks Linda! Let me know how your baking goes!

    • Thanks Joy! The brownies are my favorite, and they are so easy too!

  • Ahh drool – these photos are SO GORGEOUS!

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