‘Cute as a Button’ Frownies

Chocolate brownies are pure indulgence in my opinion, and perfect for chocoholics like me. They never fail to impress and are always first to sell out at the local cake sale. I like to eat mine with a hot frothy cappuccino on the side.

But I keep wondering if I could make those little squares of gooey dark loveliness even better. My mind whirred into action recently when I read about an opportunity on Bakingmad.com to have a recipe published in a new baking book that is being created in partnership with Silver Spoon and Macmillian Cancer Support.  The book is called Little Book of Treats and will be sold in Marks and Spencer stores around the country in August and September this year.  Fingers crossed my recipe gets chosen to go in the book.

The brief was to be innovative and exciting, but with a touch of luxuriousness. What better excuse to get my thinking cap on and turn my kitchen into a brownie experimentation lab.

I knew right from the start that my experimentation should primarily involve adding ingredients to the brownie mix, and over the next few days my mind was full of ideas. Most thoughts got dismissed straight away either because they had been done before or they just did not seem special enough. But then an idea came to me which I thought was perfect.

Let me introduce to you my ‘Cute as a Button’ Frownies. No that’s not a spelling mistake.  A Frownie is my very own combination of flapjack and brownie, bringing the best elements of two popular tea time treats into one delicious square of cake.

The main added ingredients are oats, hazelnuts and dates. The end result is a chocolate treat that is more satisfying and gives the lucky person eating it both brownie gooeyness and flapjack chewiness.

Why are they so cute? Because I’ve topped them with my own homemade chocolate buttons which happen to be my favourite decoration at the moment. These could quite easily be topped with a shop brought chocolate button too.

My Frownies are easy to make, look scrumptious and taste amazing.  I don’t think you need any more convincing. Here’s the recipe.

What you need:

  • 200g luxury dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g chopped dates (mine were pre chopped so I let them sit in hot water for 10 mins before I used them just to soften them up a bit.  Don’t forget to drain the water before you add to the mix)
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts
  • 50g oats
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50g white chocolate and a button mould (I got mine from the lovely Sew White) if making own or a packet of chocolate buttons
  • 21 x 27 cm baking tin greased and lined with greaseproof paper
  • Makes 12 medium squares or 24 mini squares

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c/325f/gas 3
  2. Put the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt together
  3. Mix in the sugar and stir until dissolved, then add the flour, dates, oats and hazelnuts and give it a good stir
  4. Finally add the eggs and stir again until completely mixed in then pour into the baking tin and gently smooth over
  5. Put in the oven for 25-30 mins.  I tested mine after 25 mins with a knife and it came out with a bit of residue on, but I think for brownies this is fine as they are meant to be gooey inside.  If it is a wet residue then it needs a bit longer
  6. Leave in tin for 10 mins then cool on a wrack.  Cut into desired pieces and decorate with buttons sticking them on with a little bit of melted chocolate

I’m also going to enter this into a favorite blog challenge of mine, Alphabakes hosted this month by Ros from ‘The More Than Occasional Baker‘ blog. Ros shares the hosting of this challenge Caroline from ‘Caroline Makes‘ blog.  This month the letter is B and on the basis that my Frownie creation is a variation of a Brownie, I can link to the letter B and enter 🙂

Don’t forget that my Natural Selection baking hamper giveaway is still running until 24th April and it includes chopped dates!  Just comment on the giveaway blog post to be in with a chance of winning.


17/04/2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Homemade gifts, Sweet Baking, Uncategorized.


  1. Lauralovescakes replied:

    These are so cute…and what a great idea…the best of a brownie and a flapjack!! I have this button mould too and I love it! 🙂

    • Homemade By Fleur replied:

      The button mould is amazing! Everyone comments when I use it, and they are so easy to make! Hope you get a chance to try my Frownies. I’m far too excited about coming up with them myself! x

  2. thelittleloaf replied:

    What a great idea! I love both flapjacks and brownies and adding oats and dates for texture sounds delicious. Good luck with the competition!

  3. Christina Alteirac replied:

    these look amazing Fleur- very innovative and i love the white chocolate button decoration! can’t wait to try them!!! xo

    • Homemade By Fleur replied:

      Thanks Christina. I’ll wrap up one of the ones I made and drop it off. Can be for your journey tomorrow. X

  4. Sarah, Maison Cupcake replied:

    Fantastic – is your chocolate button from Sainsbury’s? I have been spying those.

    • Homemade By Fleur replied:

      I saw those too in the baking section. Mine are homemade. I’ve got a button mould and I’ve been using it loads.

  5. Hannah replied:

    The buttons are so cute! I’m generally against anything flapjack-esque but I love the idea of a hybrid!

  6. cakeboule replied:

    They do look good – like the concept just wish you could send some out so we could all try them! Turn your frownie upside downie with one of these! Very cute button I want that mould. Good luck with the baking mad comp.

    • Homemade By Fleur replied:

      LOL! You have to get the mould. I have used it so much. Let me know if you do give these a go. I challenge you to make them last longer than 24 hours in your house. I made them yesterday and they have all gone now! x

  7. sweetphilosopher replied:

    I love this they look truly original and so cute!!! i originally thought they would be called ‘Frownies’ because they turn your frown upside down? but flapjack brownies are awesome too xxx

    • Homemade By Fleur replied:

      I like that…turn your frown upside down! What a great tag line. So glad you like the look of them. If you bake any let me know what you think. X

  8. bakingaddict replied:

    Brilliant idea!! Good luck with the competition entry (I’d just about forgotten about it, not sure if I’ll have time now!) I love the buttons and the whole concept – definitely a winner in my book!

  9. princeproductions replied:

    I love these frownies and your homemade chocolate buttons. Very cute indeed! They should definitely feature in the little book of treats! Fantastic idea. I love flapjacks and brownies what a wonderful idea and great alphabakes entry! X x

    • Homemade By Fleur replied:

      Thanks Lauren. Let me know if you try them. I would love to know what you think of them. x

  10. Frenchtot replied:

    Oooh where did you get the moulds fleur? Is there a good on-line shop you have found for cake decos? I am hoping to find one that ships over here?! xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: