I’m willing to try just about anything paired with chocolate. Potato chips dipped in chocolate, bacon dipped in chocolate … anything short of grasshoppers.
Among my favorite pairings, though, is chocolate and mint. I’m a big consumer of Thin Mints during Girl Scout cookie season and Peppermint Patties at any time. The day I discovered the mint version of Three Musketeers was a happy day.
So it was with some enthusiasm that I attacked a recent request from an e-mail correspondent I know only as katmasu. "Just had a chocolate mint brownie that I think was made by the Big Island Candy Co. It was yummy! Do you happen to have a similar recipe?"
I’ve never had that particular mint-chocolate combo — it’s now on my bucket list — but I took a look at it on the Big Island Candy website. It’s a brownie topped with a creamy white layer of mint and a thin chocolate glaze over all.
With those clues it was easy to find several suitable recipes. Some use squares of baking chocolate, some use cocoa powder, some use chocolate chips or syrup. Martha Stewart layers Peppermint Patties in between layers of batter. Sounds ingenious and I may try it next, but katmasu was specific about not wanting a recipe that used candy.
This recipe borrows from a number of sources, but keeps it as simple as possible. You can also use a packaged brownie mix for the base and follow this recipe for the mint layer and frosting.
MINT CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 squares (about 2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour, sifted
» Mint layer:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon half-and-half or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon half-and-half or milk
To make brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with parchment (the paper should run across the bottom and up two facing sides of the pan, so it can be lifted in one piece).
Microwave butter and chocolate 20 seconds on high. Stir, then microwave a few seconds longer if chocolate isn’t melted (it will burn quickly, so don’t microwave too long).
Stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with spoon after each addition. Stir in flour and beat with spoon until smooth. Pour into pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until edges just start to brown. Cool on wire rack.
To make mint layer: Beat ingredients until smooth and thin enough to spread, adding a little extra half-and-half if necessary. Spread evenly over brownie layer. Refrigerate until firm, about 5 minutes.
To make frosting: Microwave chocolate and butter 20 seconds on high. Stir to melt chocolate, microwaving a few seconds longer if necessary. Add sugar and half-and-half; stir until smooth. Spread over mint layer.
Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes, then lift parchment to remove brownies from pan. Cut into 1-inch squares.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Note: If you prefer a chocolate glaze to a frosting, use semisweet chocolate instead of unsweetened and eliminate the sugar and half-and-half. The result will be more like a candy coating.
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