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  • Mary Kay

Pepper-Mint up your Brownies for the Holidays!


Triple Peppermint-Double Chocolate Brownies taste just like Christmas

For the holidays, I've mixed the mint and peppermint flavors in her brownies. Everyone that I know loves rich dark chocolate brownies and mint, so why not combine all the flavors? This green and red topped brownie cake brings on the holiday feeling just by looking at it. Especially when it's presented on the red and green table runner designed and quilted by my sister. And, when you taste the brownie cake you'll know Christmas is here.


This recipe combines both crushed red and white peppermint candies with the green chocolate Andes candies. The softness of the Andes peppermint flavor melds very well with the crispy peppermint candy flavor.


Gram always used fresh cream from her own farm dairy, especially around the holidays. The cream would separate and float to the top of the jar where Gram could scoop out the creamy white goodness into a bowl so we could set it aside for any recipe we were whipping up. This recipe made enough brownie dessert at supper for her, Gramps and me, plus a little leftover for a late night snack for Gramps and me.


Prep your 6" cast iron skillet:

- One year all of Gram's baking pans were "busy" being vessels for other Christmas desserts and breads, so we used her cast iron skillet. That's what I liked about Gram, she was inventive when it came to baking, long, long before the cast iron pan became popular to make cookies and brownies in.

- Lightly brush butter on the inside bottom and sides of a 6" cast iron skillet.


Preheat your oven:

- Set your oven to 350F degrees.


Ingredients for the batter:

2 oz Dark, 60% cacao, chopped

1/4 C + 2 T Butter

3/4 C Sugar

2 Eggs, large

1/2 t Vanilla extract

6-10 Peppermint patties

1/2 C Flour

2 T Unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 t Baking powder

Pinch of Salt


Ganache Topping:

1/4 heavy whipping cream

1/2 C Chocolate, semisweet, rough chopped (I use mini semi sweet chocolate chips)


Garnish:

1/4 C Peppermint candies or candy canes, roughly crushed

8 Andes candies (the green ones), small bars, broken up


Mix your Ingredients:

- Microwave the chopped chocolate and butter until melted, in 20 second intervals. Be sure to stir each time you take it out of the microwave. This could take a minute or so, depending on the strength of your microwave. Let cool for 3-4 minutes. (Gram melted her chocolate and butter in a ceramic bowl over a simmering saucepan of hot water on her kitchen woodstove - she was baking long before microwave ovens were invented.)

- Add the sugar and eggs and whisk until combined. Set aside.

- In another bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt until completely combined. You may need to sift it if the cocoa powder has chunks in it.

- Add the flour mix to the chocolate and butter mixture, stirring until smooth.


- Pour the batter into the buttered cast iron skillet.

- Bake at 350F degrees for 20-25 minutes. Don't overbake.

- Cool on a rack for 20-30 minutes.


Melt your chips into Ganache:

- In a bowl heat the whipping cream over a pan of simmering water until it just begins to simmer and take off the heat. Or, heat in a microwave oven at 10 minute intervals to get it hot, but NOT boiling.

- Add the chocolate chips and let set for 4-5 minutes until the chocolate chips melt.

- Stir until the mixture smooths into a nice glossy ganache.

- Immediately pour the ganache over the top of your brownies.


Garnish your minty brownies:

- Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies over the ganache randomly or in a pattern, like around the edges.

- Place the halved Andes candies in a pattern around the edge of the brownie.


Other Garnishing ideas:

- Top each slice with homemade whipped cream.

- Gram liked making brownies and was not afraid to try something new with her recipes. Many times for her Homemakers' group she would embellish her brownies or her gingerbread cake slices with her homemade whipped cream, and top that with a little homemade caramel sauce. It seems everything Gram made was from scratch. She very seldom served anything that wasn't.

- This brownie recipe is easy to add little soft and chewy caramel chunks in the batter, and then drizzle an ice cream caramel sauce on top.


Add new flavors to the brownie batter:

- For a full fall flavor, add a couple tablespoons of pumpkin puree for a more moist batter. Add it to the chocolate and butter mixture before adding the flour mixture. Add a couple of minutes more to the baking time.

- Or, add a couple tablespoons of molasses to the chocolate and butter mixture before adding the flour mixture. It gives the brownies a deeper flavor without giving it a strong molasses flavor. If you do, add a couple more minutes to the baking time.


Bake your own Memories!

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