Pinecone Critters

READY IN: 5hrs 40mins
YIELD: 8 critters


  • 10
    tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 12
    cups sugar
  • 12
  • 34
    cup plus unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 14
    teaspoon salt
  • 2
    cold large eggs
  • 1
    cup almonds, diced and toasted
  • toasted blanched slivered almond
  • melted chocolate chips, to adhere almond slivers and brownies
  • brown edible spray on paint food coloring
  • white modeling chocolate
  • royal icing, for pinecones tips and facial expressions
  • edible gold black and white powder paints food coloring
  • unflavored vodka to be used with powder paint to apply faces and accents vodka


  • Toast almonds and salt in 400 degrees fahrenheit oven for 5 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. In a medium saucepan melt butter, add sugars and cocoa powder. Mix on medium heat until deep brown then turn off heat. Add vanilla and eggs. Then add flour and toasted almonds. Pour into a 10X10 parchment and butter lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and chill until hard.
  • Once chilled, cut into 2 X 2.5 inch squares and stack two until you have 8. Using a little melted chocolate glue the two pieces together and trim edges with a knife until you have an egg like shape. Using the same knife cut little slices into the top all going the same direction (These will make inserting your almond slivers easier.
  • Dip almond slivers pointed end into melted chocolate chips then insert into your brownies until they look like pinecones. Using a bit of royal icing, pipe along top edges of pine cones to give it a realistic look. Once this is done spray with a little brown food coloring. Paint with edible gold along the ridges and adhere modeling chocolate eyes. Paint on pupils and highlights using edible paints and a fine brush.