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!
Mint Chocolate Brownies Recipe
Yield: 9 -12 brownies (depending on how you cut them)
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)
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.
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