An easy party win for Star Wars fans everywhere.
Only a story as grand as Star Wars can rightfully appropriate a day for itself. May the Fourth. Yes. May the Fourth be with us all.
Fellow Star Wars devotees understand the importance of Dagobah, the dreary, creepy, isolated planet of swamps, mud plains and gray forest. It's home to only one form of intelligent life: Yoda. The mist-filled marsh is where Luke stubbornly learns from his Jedi Master to control The Force, and irritably frees his X-wing from the clutches of the swamp.
And nothing says dreary isolation and swampland like… frosted brownies. No, seriously! You can make this fun food diorama that re-creates Dagobah on a delicious brownie bed. And as awesome as this looks (ouch, it’s not easy to pat oneself on the back), it’s so easy to assemble that anyone in the galaxy can make it.
The beauty of Dagobah is its gnarled, chaotic mess, which means imperfection helps with the final look. So you can stick those pretzels in any way you like and it will look right.
First, prepare the brownies. Choose a 9x13-inch family-size Betty Crocker™ brownie mix. We’re going to make them in an 8x8-inch baking dish, though, so the brownies are thick enough to hold the pretzels (ominous trees, I mean).
Line the baking dish with parchment paper so you can easily remove the brownies once they're baked, and grease the parchment paper with cooking spray. Prepare the brownie batter according to package directions and pour into the prepared dish.
Bake at 325ºF for 52 to 54 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted two inches from the edge comes out clean. When in doubt, add a minute or two of baking so the brownie is sturdy.
Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan to place on your cake stand or plate.
While the brownies cool, prepare your pretzels. Place a piece of wax paper on a baking tray. Line up all of your pretzels on the tray.
Pour a half cup of green candy melts and two teaspoons of vegetable shortening into a microwave-safe bowl. The shortening thins the melts for easy dripping. You can add a drop of black candy color to the green candy melts if you want a more mossy green.
Microwave for 90 seconds at 70 percent power. Stir and continue to microwave at 30 second, then 15 second intervals until fully melted. Stir well.
Use a little spoon to drizzle green candy melts on the pretzels. Don’t worry about precision, just get a little on each pretzel, a bit at the top and/or a bit at the bottom. You probably won’t use all of the green melts. You can dip a few extra pretzels in the leftover candy melts and serve those along with your brownies, if you like.
Let the pretzels set about 5 minutes and move them around a bit so they don’t stick together. Let the pretzels harden fully, about 30 minutes.
When the brownies have cooled, spread chocolate frosting to cover the surface. The frosting needn’t be smooth. It’s mud. It’s messy.
Now you’re ready to put it all together. Place the prepared pretzel rods, sticks and twists into the brownies. Insert some at different angles. You can break a rod or two if you like. This is swampland, after all.
Lay a few sticks and twists on the ground, crossing them for fallen logs. Don’t cover the entire brownie in pretzels, though, you want room for the eerie mist. If you like, stack a few extra pretzels around the brownie on the plate.
Next we add the mist, aka cotton candy. Use green, pink, purple or yellowish to mimic the darkly lit fog of swampy Dagobah.
The frosting will start to dissolve the cotton candy after a few hours, so add this right before serving, or right before the start of the party. (You can always covertly add a few more tufts if it starts to dissolve.)
Finally, add your Yoda figurine to complete the scene. If you have Luke, too, even better!
Think you’ll try to make your own? As Yoda says, “Do… or do not. There is no try.” (And yes, you can do.)