Friday, November 18, 2011

Mint Chocolate Brownies

I don’t know what it is about this time of year that makes me crave mint.  It’s warm and cool at the same time and always makes me thing of the holidays.  Last week I tore into a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints and then I bought some mint extract and some Andes’ Mint baking chips and could barely wait to get home and get them into some kind of dessert.

I ended up going for a Thin Mint cheesecake.  You’ll notice that the title of this post isn’t “Thin Mint Cheesecake.”  There is a reason…in my head it was a perfect idea and while I was mixing it up it became even more brilliant.  However, when I took it out of the oven, it was just OK.  Not bad, but not great and it will need some work before I share it with my blog friends.  I was pretty much devastated.  I wanted it to be so good but it just really wasn’t.  I have lots of ideas in my head as to how I can make it better.  It definitely needed more chocolate, less “fake mint” flavor and needed a different crust situation (I used a plain graham cracker crust.)  I shared a piece with my friend Megan and she had the same feedback.  More or less, it just needed more Thin Mints!  So keep your eyes peeled for another version of that.

Obviously, the cheesecake didn’t fulfill my craving for a mint-chocolate dessert so I turned to the ultimate in chocolate: brownies!  Brownies also happen to be a favorite of Paul’s.  And he loves the mint-chocolate combination as much as I do so I was more than happy to have these whipped up for him when he got home from work one night this week.  These were really awesome.  I was so afraid that I would get that “fake mint” flavor again but it didn’t happen.  They were sweet but balanced and the mint flavor was very smooth and warm.

Last week Erin did a review of Melt Buttery Spread.  I commented on her post and was then contacted by Melt to try their product.  You guys know that I love butter, a lot, and I don’t substitute anything for butter, especially in baking!  Needless to say, I was anxious to give this stuff a try.  I actually tried it in these brownies and I have to say that, without comparing side-by-side, I could not notice a difference.  Melt is creamy and it melted just like butter for this recipe, you use the same measurements but in exchange, you receive much less saturated fat than butter.  I’m very excited to try out some more recipes with this fantastic butter substitute…although, I for sure won’t be totally giving up the real stuff any time soon!

PrintPrint Recipe

Mint Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Yield: 9 -12 brownies (depending on how you cut them)

Ingredients:

For brownies:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened [I used Melt Buttery Spread]
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Mint Layer :
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbs. pure mint extract
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped Andes’ mints (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a small pan, over low heat, stir the butter and chocolate until smooth. Set aside.

Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the chocolate and then add the flour, vanilla and salt. Stir until blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes.

While the brownies are cooling, make the mint layer. Beat the powdered sugar, butter and extracts in a bowl until creamy. Spread over the brownie layer, sprinkle with the Andes’ candy pieces and refrigerate for one hour.

Cover with foil. The brownies can be stored covered tightly at room temperature but I liked them chilled in the refrigerator.

Cassie’s Notes:
A drizzle of chocolate ganache would be divine on these brownies. Melt 2 ounces of chocolate with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream over low heat until smooth and shiny. Drizzle over the brownies.

Adapted from Epicurious

 

35 Responses to “Mint Chocolate Brownies”

  1. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — November 18, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    I love mint this time of year as well and these look delicious! I love the combination of mint and chocolate! I’m anxious to try Melt now too. Anything to cut out some saturated fat and still enjoy some delicious treats sounds great! :)

  2. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — November 18, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    omg, these couldn’t have come at a more perfect time — seriously. my friend who’s holding a girls night next week asked me to make some pepperminty treats and this is PERFECT!! :) :)

  3. #
    Curt — November 18, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    Oooooh, I’ll bet that’s awesome with the mint layer!

  4. #
    Meghan — November 18, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    Sorry your cheesecake didn’t work, it’s disappointing when things don’t turn out like they do in our heads! There’s so much trial & error in baking, and next time they will probably turn out better than you originally hoped for :) On the plus side you made these brownies that look delish!

  5. #
    Bev Weidner — November 18, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    This makes me MELT just looking at it. GET IT?? GET IT????

  6. #
    Kate @ Kate from Scratch — November 18, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    These look and sound amazing! I’m not normally drawn to mint desserts, naturally (though my husband is a huge mint-chocolate fan), but I always rave about them upon their arrival. These are unforgettable!

  7. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — November 18, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    these do sound amazing, yummy mint love it!

  8. #
    Alisia — November 18, 2011 @ 11:49 am

    Yum! My favorite thing to do with an Andes mint is to put it at the bottom of a mug of hot cocoa. I make my hot cocoa with milk, it tastes like liquid dessert!

  9. #
    Tina@flourtrader — November 18, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    The only mint thing I have made that I have been happy with is
    a brownie made with chopped up mint Altoids (David Lebovitz
    recipe) I have tried the boiling of mint leaves with milk but it doesn’t ever come out strong enough. The other thing is that
    some blogger said there was a strain of herb that is called
    mint chocolate-I am still on the lookout for that. Your
    brownies do look delicious, I am glad you were pleased with
    the taste. I will need to try your version with the
    Andes mints.

  10. #
    Asmita — November 18, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    Love the combination of chocolate and mint. I haven’t baked with chocolate and mint yet, but use a lot of mint in my cooking like chutneys and mint biryani or hot “Chai” with mint.

  11. #
    Baker Street — November 18, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

    Chocolate and Mint pair so well! I love the layers in this brownies and the fact you added chopped up mints and not mint extract! Thanks for sharing. :)

  12. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — November 18, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

    I always love chocolate and nuts, but my husband almost always love chocolate and mint. He’ll go crazy with this because it’s also a brownie! Making sweets at home is so scary especially if I make this kind of delicious dessert… how do I control my love for sweets? Looks amazingly delicious Cassie! You still have leftover? ;-)

  13. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — November 18, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    Cassie, these look amazing! Next to chocolate and peanut butter, chocolate and mint ranks right up there for my favorite combination! I have wanted to try Melt also so I am happy to hear that you couldn’t really tell a difference. I am a butter devotee also, but I am interested in at least testing alternatives also!

  14. #
    Anne@frommysweetheart — November 18, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

    Cassie…funny, but I’m not a big fan of mint in baking…EXCEPT for brownies! So I’m kinda glad that your cheesecake didn’t work out! These look awesome, especially that beautiful, natural frosting! Looking forward to whipping up a batch of these! : )

  15. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — November 18, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

    These look amazing! I love chocolate and mint together, and brownies are a huge weakness for me! Love Melt, so glad you got to try it. I will still use butter, but a great alternative!

  16. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — November 18, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

    It’s funny because I don’t usually like mint, but I also seem to crave it this time of year! These look so good!!

  17. #
    galit — November 18, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

    I’m seconding the Perfect comment! I’ll definitely give these a try!

  18. #
    Beth Michelle — November 19, 2011 @ 6:15 am

    Mint and chocolate are my favorite flavor combos! These are amazing.

  19. #
    Ramona — November 19, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    I have always loved the combo of mint and chocolate ever since I ate my first peppermint patty ages ago. This brownie looks phenomenal. I think they are perfect for the holidays. :)

  20. #
    Baking Serendipity — November 19, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    There is nothing more frustrating than the perfect recipe in your mind turning out way less perfect than you expected. While I’m definitely still looking forward to the cheesecake, these brownies sound fantastic! I love mint this time of year too :)

  21. #
    Carolyn — November 19, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

    I love mint chocolate things around the holidays too. Your brownies look truly delicious!

  22. #
    Liz — November 19, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    Oh, my kids would adore these gems! And hurry up and perfect that Thin Mint cheesecake soon…we’d love that, too :)

  23. #
    Tiffany — November 19, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

    Mint chocolate was my favorite flavor combo as a kid… and I ain’t gonna lie… I still have a weakness for it! YUMMY looking brownies! :)

  24. #
    Steve @ the black peppercorn — November 19, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

    Totally agree with you about mint! These look delicious. Last week I posted chocolate mint Oreo cups and since then I have been on a mint kick!!

  25. #
    Katrina — November 20, 2011 @ 12:13 am

    Those look great! Definitely have to have something with chocolate/mint at least during the holidays!

  26. #
    Kim Bee — November 20, 2011 @ 2:17 am

    This looks so good. It’s 3 am and I want to make brownies. That is how good you are!

  27. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — November 20, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    Mint and chocolate are one of my favorite pairings! So delicious together….yum!

  28. #
    sarah — November 20, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    Ugh- I hate it when a recipe I’m excited for doesn’t work out- luckily you were able to follow it with these gorgeous brownies! I crave mint in the winter too :)

  29. #
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — November 20, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    I love Andes mints! Haven’t baked with them yet though – I can imagine how great they taste in these brownies!

  30. #
    Melanie @ Melanie Cooks — November 20, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    Tasty looking brownie! Now I’m craving a brownie :)

  31. #
    kita — November 20, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

    When I saw this the other day I got sooo excited! Chocolate and mint, yes please! It’s always been one of my favorite combinations in dessert flavors.

  32. #
    Elyse @The Cultural Dish — November 21, 2011 @ 6:38 am

    When I was in college there was a cookie shop that sold mint topped brownies and I ordered them waaaaaaaayy too often! Your brownies just brought back some good and tasty memories! Cannot wait to try these out! :)

  33. #
    Britne @ Shabbott's Habits — November 22, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    I just know that my husband would love these. His favorite baked good just has to be brownies and he’s a big fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream. This is like the best of both worlds! Thanks for sharing :)

  34. #
    kyleen — November 22, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

    These brownies look delicious. I think its the cold weather that makes me crave mint. All I can think about is mint hot chocolate. I definitely wouldn’t mind having one of these on the side!

  35. #
    Curt — December 18, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

    Those look delicious. That icing looks so good!

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