Santa Hat Brownie Bites…

1 box brownie mix
24 small strawberries
2 cups white chocolate chips

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 1 mini-muffin pan
– Prepare brownie mix according to box’s instructions and fill cavities 3/4 of the way full (I had some leftover brownie mix that I just baked off as regular brownies because I didn’t have enough strawberries)
– Bake for 25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean
– Let brownies cool and use this time to hull and clean the strawberries
– Once cool, place strawberries upside down onto brownie bites

Mascarpone Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2-1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla extract and salt.  Add 2-1/2 cups of sugar, half a cup at a time and continue beating until smooth.  Add more sugar, if needed to reach desired consistency and sweetness.

To assemble, pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream on top of each brownie.  Cut off the base of a strawberry so it is flat and place it upside down on each brownie, pushing slightly to secure in place.  Top the tip of the strawberry with a dot of buttercream to finish the santa hat.

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