Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Food Craft: Mint Brownies

If you are like me, there is never a bad time for a chocolate fix, and these brownies definitely satisfy a chocolate craving! Perfect with a tall glass of milk, these are rich, chocolatey, minty and delicious. If you don't have the inclination to make brownies from scratch, you could easily substitute your favorite boxed variety, but I guarantee you your effort will be rewarded (as will your patience, you really do need to let these cool before you add your minty topping and final chocolate layer).

You will need:

1 9" x 13" pan. I used a glass baking dish, your baking times may differ if you use metal or coated pans.

For the Brownies:

1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 cup nuts (optional)

For the Mint layer:

1 stick of butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
3 drops green food coloring

Chocolate topping:
1 cup chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter

Start by making your brownies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and gently mix them on lowest speed until well combined. Add in your wet ingredients and mix until combined, try to get rid of any lumps but do not over mix your batter.

Place the batter into your 9" x 13" baking dish (I lightly spray mine with cooking spray just to be safe, but there is enough oil in these that they rarely stick). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (time may vary depending on type of pan you use and your elevation). Allow your brownies to cool before topping with the next layer.

To make your mint layer, which is really a minty butter cream of sorts, start by placing your butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and beating it by itself until smooth. Add in your powdered sugar, water, mint extract and food coloring and beat together until it reaches a nice smooth consistency. Spread evenly over your brownies and chill in the refrigerator while you make your final chocolate layer.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat your chocolate chips and 6 Tablespoons butter in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring between each. It usually takes about 1 minute for me to melt these together and stir them into one smooth mixture. Spread this evenly on top of your mint layer, and place back into the refrigerator to set.

These may be kept covered at room temperature once the chocolate layer has set. I recommend cutting them into smaller squares as they are quite rich.

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