Football Brownies FTW

In the spirit of the upcoming Super Bowl, I really wanted to make something in to the shape of a football.  And since footballs are brown, the options were basically limited to something meaty or chocolatey.  Of course I chose CHOCOLATE!  Our last attempt at brownies was somewhat of a failure because we decided to go with the organic box kind and they were a bit too… cardboard tasting.  I must admit though, I’ve never made brownies from scratch before.  I know I know…how can I have a blog that touts cooking when I’ve always made the boxed kind of brownies?  Well, it’s time to think outside the box.  Here’s my first attempt at making Cocoa Brownies from scratch…and forming them into football shapes!

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, add the butter and set on top of a large sauce pan with barely simmering water. Melt the butter, then add sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. Next add the cocoa powder and stir until mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
  3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
  5. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 large  or 25 small squares.

Recipe from Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate by Alice Medrech

If making footballs shapes, you should be able to cut out at least 8 large football shaped brownies.  Warning: You may end up eating all the brownie scraps while cutting!  I cut a football shaped template out of cardstock and then placed it on top of the brownies and cut around it.  Sure beats going to the store and spending money on a football shaped cookie cutter that you’ll probably only use twice a year, max.  To create the white lines, I scooped frosting into a plastic bag, cut a corner off the bag, and squeezed the frosting out on top of the footballs.

These Cocoa Brownies turned out to be one of the best brownies I’ve ever eaten, seriously.  They are fudgy, chocolatey and not too sweet.  They were rather simple to make and not too time consuming either!  Think outside the box and you’ll be rewarded!

These football brownies are sure to “score a touchdown” at your tailgate party!


  1. Kate
    February 4, 2010 / 8:51 am

    haha really luv the idea…great lookin’ footballs =D

  2. Nancy
    February 4, 2010 / 8:52 am

    They look awesome Sandy!!! Great idea!

  3. February 4, 2010 / 10:40 am

    Love them! They look adorable and delicious!

  4. Sheena
    February 4, 2010 / 10:50 am

    Sooo cute and tasty looking!!!

    What do you use for piping? Just a baggie w/ the corner cut or did you buy the little metal inserts?

    • February 4, 2010 / 10:52 am

      @Sheena Yup, just a baggie w/ a corner cut out! Eventually once I learn how to actually decorate desserts, I may splurge on a piping set with metal inserts hehe.

  5. February 4, 2010 / 3:49 pm

    These are too cute! So funny. What a clever idea!

  6. steph
    February 4, 2010 / 8:38 pm

    Let’s learn how to decorate cakes!! I always thought that would be really cool. One day I will do that.

    Super cool looking brownies. You are making me hungry. And great idea for the Superbowl! Leave it to Sandy to think of this!

  7. sophie
    February 5, 2010 / 11:52 am

    i wish there was a scratch, sniff, and taste application on this website.

  8. February 5, 2010 / 3:15 pm

    man brownies!! my hubby would love if i made these for him. thanks for the idea!

  9. Lai
    February 8, 2010 / 8:26 pm

    this is so cute! are you going to cut the mochi into hearts?

  10. tin
    February 22, 2010 / 6:46 pm

    how cute was this idea?! i love it! and i’ve never made homemade brownies before, so this is something i must try soon 😉

  11. joy
    March 2, 2010 / 10:10 am

    hi sandy-

    just found your site from another blog i read. love your blog! one tip. i made football brownies a few years ago and what i did was i bought a few cheap large metal circle cookie cutters from a craft store. then i squished them to look like footballs and started to cut away. also made some rice krispie treats this way. this year i made 3D rice krispie footballs. so fun. also thanks for the mochi recipe. i never knew that they were so easy to make. and while i’m adding everything to this one comment. love your nephew’s b-day party!!!

  12. Maud Reifer
    April 22, 2013 / 9:35 pm

    There are three main myths about the creation of the brownie. The first, that a chef accidentally added melted chocolate to biscuit dough. The second, a cook forgot to add flour to the batter. And thirdly, the most popular belief, that a housewife did not have baking powder and improvised with this new treat. It was said that she was baking for guests and decided to serve these flattened cakes to them. This became our beloved treat of today. Whatever may be the case; all three myths have gained popularity throughout the years due to its mysterious beginnings.;

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