Oh, the weather outside is…not so frightful. The fire? Not really so delightful. In fact, the weather is terribly un-Christmassy. Does Mother Nature know that it’s December? Does she have any idea that Christmas is just a few short weeks away? I know I probably sound like a big Scrooge to most of you, and those of you who live up north are rolling your eyes at me because you’re enjoying the warm weather you’ve had and think I’m crazy, but I’m having a very hard time getting into the Christmas spirit when I can still break a sweat just walking to my mailbox! Bah Humbug!
I would kill for some snow, or at least a chill in the air right now. I’m feeling like a major Christmas party pooper.
There’s something about cool, minty desserts that scream holiday-time to me. Like pumpkin spice in the fall, I can’t get through December if I don’t have an overabundance of chocolate-mint delicacies at my disposal. My latest addition to the fold are these amazing, peppermint pattie studded brownies. I came across the recipe in one of Dorie Greenspan’s fantastic cookbooks, and hoped that a dose of the cool, pepperminty yumminess would make me feel like it’s really December and get me in the Christmas spirit.
Do you remember the York Peppermint Patty commercials? Where one bite would transport someone to a snowy mountaintop or an igloo? That’s what I was going for.
I started by chopping up some chocolate. No brownie mix here. These are the real fudgy deal. I chopped up some unsweetened chocolate and also a bit of bittersweet.
Once the chocolate was chopped, I placed it in a bowl with some butter and melted it over a pan of simmering water. Much like using a double boiler, this gentle melt technique helps keep everything even tempered.
Once the chocolate and butter were combined, I whisked in some sugar, vanilla, two eggs until the mixture was nice and shiny.
Then, I added just a wee bit of flour. I only used 1/3 cup! These are some rich little brownies…but so worth it.
Before I spread the batter in my dish, I added the “Brrrr” factor. I chopped up some of those creamy, cool, icicle inducing peppermint patties and folded them into my batter.
I lined an 8×8 baking dish with some foil, and generously buttered the dish, so none of that chewy, dense brownie would stick, and then spread my peppermint studded batter into the dish.
The brownies baked for about 35 minutes, until they were evenly set, but still a little fudgy in the middle. I let them cool on the countertop completely.
When I was ready to slice them, I pulled them out of the pan using the foil, and carefully peeled the buttered foil from the brownies.
When I sliced into them, they were deliciously dense and moist, and the peppermint patties perfectly speckled the middles.
Did I bite into them and end up stranded on a glacier or feel like I’d fallen into a snow bank? No. Sadly, the brownies didn’t change the weather. They did, however, taste like the holidays and they put a huge smile on my Scrooge-like face. My Grinch heart grew three sizes that day…and I’m pretty sure my waistline grew a little too, but that’s OK. It’s Christmas.
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan
- 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (6 oz.) York Peppermint Patties, chopped into pieces
- Center a rack in your oven and preheat the oven to 325*F.
- Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil. Butter the foil generously and place the pan on a baking sheet.
- Bring a small pan of water to a simmer on the stove.
- Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl on top of the simmering water and stir until the butter and chocolate have melted and are nice and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat.
- With a whisk, stir in the sugar. The mixture may look grainy...that's OK.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
- Add the vanilla and whisk vigorously until the batter comes together and is nice and shiny smooth.
- Stir in the flour and the salt just until the flour is incorporated.
- Fold in the peppermint pattie pieces.
- Spread the batter into the prepared dish, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top of the brownies looks dull and a thin knife inserted into the center of the brownies comes out almost clean. They should still be a little fudgy in the middle. They will set as they cool.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
- When they are cool, pull the brownies from the pan using the foil. Carefully, peel the foil from the brownies and invert them onto a cutting board. Slice into 16 2-inch servings.