Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mint Chocolate Brownies

You say 'baking competition' and I say 'where?!'. My company hosted a little friendly bake-off last week and lemme tell you, there are a lot of closet bakers out there! Although these brownies didn't win a prize, that did get all gobbled up. So that's a win in my book.

This recipe comes from a friend's family cookbook. She gave me this book for Christmas a couple years ago and I can practically feel the family history and joyful time spent in the kitchen eminating off the pages.

Technically, this is called "Mint Chocolate Sticks" but I'm going to call a duck a duck--or a brownie a brownie. A couple of hiccups in this plan: the recipe calls for a 9x9 pan but I only had an 8x8. No biggie, the brownies just came out a little thicker. Second hiccup: I assumed I had peppermint extract but upon searching my cabinets for it, remembered it was a casualty in the war against pantry moths 2014 (RIP). So no peppermint for the 'mint' chocolate brownies. Back up plan: candy canes! Festive AND minty.

Butter and chocolate are melted together. It's possibly my favorite thing about making brownies from scratch, watching these two melt together. And it really doesn't taste that great yet because it's unsweetened chocolate so you don't even need to worry about temptation.

The chocolate-butter mixture is added to the eggs and sugar after it's cooled a bit (the chocolate-butter, that is). The last addition is the flour.

Now, this recipe is best made in stages. Once the brownies are cooked, you need to let them cool completely before adding the icing and glaze. For me, this worked out great because I made the brownies a day ahead of time. The icing is a simple buttercream with butter, sugar and peppermint (if it's available). I added food coloring to make the icing green and seasonally appropriate.

The icing will cover the pan of brownies but doesn't make a super thick layer. Chill the iced brownies for five minutes in the fridge before glazing. The glaze is super easy to make and just involves melting more chocolate and butter. Pour the glaze over the icing. As the recipe expressly states, the glaze will cover the icing very thinly but if you can see icing poking through, "it will be okay". Good to know.

For me, the last step was sprinkling candy cane on top. I lined the baking sheet with parchment paper so it was very easy to remove the brownies from the pan. After I had already baked the brownies, I was advised to make five dozen brownies for the competition. That's a lotta brownies!! So I had about three dozen very small pieces. It looked like a tetris competition.

These will make great treats for your holiday gatherings or as gifts!


  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a square pan (8x8 or 9x9) will work and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a double boiler (or a heat proof bowl set over a pot of water), melt the chocolate and butter over medium heat until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the eggs until they are foamy. Beat in the salt, vanilla and sugar.
  4. Slowly pour the butter-chocolate mixture into the egg-sugar mixture and continue mixing until combined.
  5. Lastly, add the flour and mix on low speed. 
  6. Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center is cooked through.
  7. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Chocolate Glaze
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Crushed candy cane or sprinkles for decorating
  1. In a small bowl, place all of the frosting ingredients. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. I added some green food coloring for extra festivity.
  2. Spread the icing over the cooled brownies. It will not be a thick layer but it will be enough!
  3. Chill the cake for 5 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. Meanwhile, microwave the chocolate and butter for the glaze in a glass dish for 1 minute at half power or until melted.
  5. Once the iced brownies have chilled for 5 minutes, pour the chocolate glaze on top and turn the pan to completely cover.
  6. Sprinkle with candy canes, sprinkles or leave plain.
  7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the glaze. 
  8. Remove the brownies from the pan by pulling the edges of the parchment paper. This will get them out in one block so you can cut them to the desired serving size.
  9. Allow the brownies to come to room temperature before eating.