Delicious peppermint brownies are such a wintertime staple! If you’re like me, you crave your candy cane fix around the holidays. Make these delicious peppermint brownies to hit your fix and impress your friends, relatives, and significant other’s parents. The recipe is from my mom, modified from a friend’s recipe, modified by me! So you know it’s dope. I recommend reading the steps before trying the recipe so you know all the tips, tricks, and variations!
Step One: Peppermint Chocolate
Preheat the oven while you melt the chocolate.
Using a chocolate bar will give you a nice fudge-y texture in your brownies. Yum! Add all your butter to the pan, then place the chocolate bar on top. By doing this, you are helping to protect the chocolate from burning because there will be a layer of fat underneath as it melts. If you are using chocolate chips, that’s okay, too! Just take care to scrape the melted chocolate from the bottom as they melt so they don’t burn.
Put on low or medium-low heat and stir gently. Melting your chocolate will and should take a little time because it is critical that you melt it slowly in order to avoid burning the chocolate, and candy cane (if you opt for that). You can remove from the heat when most of the chocolate is melted, allowing the remainder to melt as the mixture starts to cool.
If you’re using candy cane, add to the pan once you have a small amount of liquid from the butter. If you crush the candy cane into pieces, more of it will melt, but don’t expect them to totally dissolve. You will have some pieces inside the brownie batter (yum). This is pure sugar, so make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom! An easier way to add the mint flavor would be to purchase some peppermint extract. Caution: peppermint extract is not peppermint essential oil. Do not mistake the two. Add the peppermint extract once you have removed the melted chocolate mixture from the heat!
Step Two: Mix
My mom mixes her brownie mixture in the pan she melts the chocolate in after allowing it to cool (if you don’t, you will scramble the eggs. Gross!). The pan should be comfortable to the touch, and will take about ten minutes to cool. You can also opt to pour everything into a a mixing bowl to shorten the cooling time. After you pour the chocolate and butter mixture in the bowl, you should still allow it to rest for around five minutes. Use a rubber spatula to get all the good-good off the sides of the pan.
Mix the sugar, salt, and vanilla in with the chocolate and butter mixture. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating until the mixture becomes glossy each time. You won’t over-mix because you still haven’t added the flour.
Once everything is incorporated, stir in the flour until smooth. Now that you have added the flour, it is possible to over-mix, so be gentle.
Step Three: Bake
Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch pan with butter, olive oil, or baking spray. Spread the mixture evenly around the pan. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remember: it’s better to pull them out a little early than a little late. Check with a toothpick or a metal cake tester. Nothing wet should stick, but a few crumbs are okay. I’ve also used a small knife in a pinch, but this will make a bigger blemish in your peppermint brownies.
Step Four: Garnish
While the brownies bake (and cool), prepare your garnish. Add white or semi-sweet chocolate chips to a small saucepan with butter and milk or heavy cream for a beautiful chocolate drizzle. Same deal as before: melt slowly over low or medium-low heat to avoid burning. You don’t have to stir constantly, but more frequently than not is good.
In between stirs, crush your candy canes into small pieces using a food processor or a sealed freezer bag and something hard. This step is fun! I prefer a consistency relatively close to dust so that no one gets a big chunk to crunch on, but you can choose whatever size you like! The candy cane will be stuck on by the chocolate drizzle though, so remember that smaller pieces will be more easily stuck.
Once your peppermint brownies have cooled, drizzle the chocolate over the brownies. If you do not let them cool, the drizzle will not maintain it’s nice shape. The consistency of the chocolate should not be thick, so add a little more milk or cream if you can’t drizzle it. You also don’t want it too thin or else it won’t hold the candy cane! You can go as heavy as you want with the drizzle, but remember if you use white chocolate it will be quite decadent. After drizzling the chocolate, dust the peppermint brownies with candy cane or press candy cane pieces into the drizzle. Let rest to set the chocolate. Cut and serve!
You can also cut the brownies and then garnish them, which will make each individual brownie look a lot fancier. However, this method is a lot more work and clean-up, so choose with caution. I would place the brownies on a cookie sheet to contain the drizzle and the candy cane.
Recipe For Peppermint Brownies:
4oz unsweetened chocolate, or sub a standard size chocolate bar such as Hershey’s chocolate.
1.5 sticks of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1.5 cups of sugar
1 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 or 2 candy canes, or 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (increase for stronger peppermint flavor with caution! extract is strong)
(White) Chocolate Garnish:
3/4 cup white chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream (decadent)
1 tablespoon butter
a pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Melt the butter and the chocolate together slowly over low or medium-low heat. Add the candy cane after some liquid butter has collected, or the peppermint extract after you have melted the chocolate. Break the candy cane into pieces to melt. Remove mixture from heat and let cool 5-10 minutes.
3. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla to the chocolate mixture. You can do so in a bowl or in the pan, if it’s big enough.
4. Add each egg one at a time and beat until glossy and smooth for each egg. Don’t worry about over-mixing: you haven’t added the flour yet.
5. Add the flour. Stir to combine into a smooth batter.
6. Spread mixture in a lightly greased 8 x 8in baking pan.
7. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
8. Make the garnish while the brownies bake. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan with the butter, salt, and milk or heavy cream. Stir gently and melt over low or medium-low heat. Crush candy canes to desired size using a food processor or the sealed freezer bag method.
9. Garnish the brownies with as much chocolate drizzle as you desire. The brownies should be mostly cool so the chocolate can set into a nice shape. Dust with candy canes or press pieces on the top. Let rest to set the candy cane and drizzle together.
10. Serve and enjoy!
Note: there is an option to garnish the brownies before or after you cut them. If you cut before garnishing, place brownies on a cookie sheet to contain the mess.
Isn’t this the most delicious recipe for peppermint brownies? Let us know how yours turned out below!
Feature Image Source: https://www.theleangreenbean.com/peppermint-sweet-potato-brownies/
Photos: via Pexels @james-sebastian, @alleksana, via Unsplash @apurvadixit, http://ditchtherecipe.org/2018/12/13/peppermint-bark-brownies/, via Pexels @daria
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