Saturday, December 8, 2012

Peppermint Brownies

Recipe and picture from Mine did not turn out this pretty.

I love finding new recipes to try. I usually try to keep things relatively healthy, but every once in a while you have to indulge. These peppermint brownies are the PERFECT excuse for that! I wouldn't steer you wrong - I take chocolate-peppermint desserts VERY seriously.

We had friends over for dinner last weekend, so I searched Pinterest for a good peppermint brownie recipe. This one, from Annie's Eats, seemed to be the most popular. I gave it a try and the results were pretty amazing.

No, that's not a typo - three cups of sugar are required.

Yield: 1 9×13-inch pan (about 36 brownies)

8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ cups unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1½ tsp. peppermint extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 (1.55 oz) milk chocolate bars, broken into segments***
1 bag Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, wrappers removed and coarsely chopped
*** I actually messed this step up and totally forgot the chocolate bars. Trust me, they still turned out great.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water; heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chocolate mixture with the sugar and eggs until well blended.  Whisk in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and the salt.  Whisk in the flour just until incorporated.

Spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan.  Layer with the milk chocolate pieces (or just totally forget about this step like I did).  Spread the remaining batter evenly over the milk chocolate pieces.  Bake 30-35 minutes.

Remove the brownies from the oven but maintain the oven temperature.  Sprinkle the chopped Candy Cane Kisses over the top of the brownies and return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.  Chill the brownies until the candy topping has firmed up.  Slice and serve.

Taking more inspiration from Pinterest (at this point it's the source of 95% of my creativity), I decided I would cut the brownies into cute little Christmas trees with candy cane trunks. This is what they were supposed to look like:

And this is what they actually looked like:

Laugh if you must, they were still really good.
This recipe makes a lot of brownies, so you may want to consider taking the leftovers to work. Otherwise, you may end up eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until they're gone. 

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