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Brownie frosting is a topping used on brownies, which are a chocolate, cake-like dessert. There are a variety of different frostings that can be used on brownies, though most are variations of buttercream frosting, which contains butter, sugar, cream, and sometimes eggs. Chocolate is one of the most common flavors for brownie frosting, though peanut butter and vanilla also go well with them. Buttercream frosting adds a great deal of sweetness to brownies, but it also adds fat and calories, so some cooks prefer to use frostings made from healthier ingredients, such as reduced-fat cream cheese.
One of the most common types of brownie frosting is a chocolate flavored buttercream frosting. In order to make this type of frosting, equal parts butter and cream are heated in a pan and mixed with sugar, chocolate, and vanilla. These ingredients are cooked together and spread in the top of the brownies. This type of frosting stiffens as it cools so it needs to be spread on the top of the brownies while it is still warm.
Other variations of buttercream brownie frosting can also be used. Melting peanut butter, caramel, or butterscotch chips into the mixture of butter, sugar, and cream will create frostings with these flavors. It is also possible to add additional vanilla or white chocolate in order to make vanilla flavored brownie frosting. The addition of raw eggs to any of these types of buttercream frosting will make them richer, though only eggs that have no possibility of contamination with salmonella should be used.
Fudge can also be used as a brownie frosting. Any flavor of fudge can be used, though chocolate is the most common. In order to make these types of frostings, butter, sugar, corn syrup, and shortening are combined with chocolate and allowed to cool and set on the top of a prepared tray of brownies. Though they are less commonly used, ganaches, fondants, and icings can also be used to frost brownies.
Healthier versions of brownie frosting can also be made. Beating reduced fat cream cheese with sugar and vanilla will create a creamy and slightly tangy frosting that complements the flavor of brownies well. Whipped cream can be used as a type of frosting as well and is often beaten with a considerable amount of sugar before it is layered on top of brownies. It is also possible to add melted chocolate to either of these frostings.