Mint Chocolate Brownies

Little Leprechaun! 

Spring is in the air... as evidenced by the fact that the whole family is suffering from allergies and colds.  Our schedules this week seem to revolve around hand washing, eye drops, nasal spray, sanitizing, doing laundry, and going to bed early.  Alas, we will survive.  On a brighter note, I have started making plans for some spring gardening projects.  I hope to revamp our front yard and explore the art of xeriscaping in New Mexico.  However, I have learned from experience that we can experience snow and frost up until Mother's Day weekend here in Santa Fe, so I'm not planting anything for a couple more months.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I tried a new recipe for mint chocolate brownies!  I shared them with my coworkers and my book club.  If you like Thin Mints, you will love these brownies!  



   

Mint Chocolate Brownies
From Sally's Baking Addiction blog:  Classic Mint Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

Brownies

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 3 Tablespoons (85g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (21g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Mint Frosting Layer

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract1
  • 1 drop liquid or gel green food coloring (optional)

Chocolate Layer

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 heaping cup (around 200g) semi-sweet chocolate chip

Directions:

  1. For the brownies: Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave. Remove from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the granulated and brown sugars into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the salt, flour, and cocoa powder. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-36 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test to see when yours are finished. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides. Place the whole thing on a baking sheet as you make the frosting. Do not cut into squares yet.
  4. For the mint frosting layer: In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and milk. Beat for 2 minutes on low speed, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 additional minute. Add the peppermint extract and food coloring (if using) and beat on high for 1 full minute. Taste and add a drop or two more peppermint extract if desired. Frost cooled brownies, that you placed on the baking sheet, and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator. This allows the frosting to "set" on top of the brownies which makes spreading the chocolate layer easy. Keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  5. For the chocolate layer: Melt the butter and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave. Once melted and smooth, pour over mint layer. Gently spread with a knife or offset spatula. Place the brownies, that are still on the baking sheet, in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour (and up to 4 hours or even overnight) to set the chocolate.
  6. Once chilled, remove from the refrigerator and cut into squares. For neat cutting, make very quick cuts, using a very sharp large knife, and wiping the knife off with a paper towel between each cut. Brownies are OK at room temperature for a few hours. Cover tightly and keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


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Tip:  Working full time, I never have a large chunk of time to spend in the kitchen.  I made the first layer Saturday afternoon, the mint layer Saturday night, and the chocolate layer on Sunday night after work.  The brownies stayed fresh in the fridge for several days.



Working on some crafts with friends at a Meetup!
Happy St. Paddy's Day!

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