Make Fudge Mint Brownies

 

Fudge Mint Brownies… I think the title pretty much tells you all you need to know!

These are dense, rich and so delicious!  They can be cut into small squares and are a great dessert to serve on a dessert table, or bring to a dinner party.

 

 

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Fudge Mint Brownies

 

Brownie Layer~

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

4 oz. dark chocolate (apx. 80% cocoa, or use half unsweetened and half bittersweet)

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Mint Layer~

3 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract  (or 1/4 teaspoon creme de menthe and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint)

1 drop green food coloring (I use americolor mint green)

 

Chocolate Glaze~

3 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (apx. 70 % cocoa)

1 Tablespoon butter

Andes Mints (apx. 1/2 package, or 14 whole pieces, about 2.5 oz.), chopped

 

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Directions~

Preheat oven to 325*F.   Prepare a 9″x9″ (or 8″x8″) square baking pan by lining parchment paper across the bottom and sides of the pan, like a sling.  You can use a little butter on the pan to help the paper stay in place.

 

Brownies~

In a stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmering water (or double boiler), melt the butter and chocolate.

Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a spoon.  Stir in flour and salt and beat with a spoon until the batter is smooth and glossy (about 1 minute).  Pour the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.

 

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until brownies start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.  Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely (about 1 hour).

 

Mint Layer~

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat all ingredients until smooth.  Add 1 or two drops of green food coloring (one at a time, you don’t want it too green).  If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more cream (the frosting should be just thin enough to spread).  Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled brownie layer.  Place in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes, or until slightly firm.

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Chocolate Glaze~

In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter.  Spread over the mint filling, then top with chopped Andes mints.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate glaze starts to dull.

 

To Serve~

Remove brownies from the pan by lifting the ends of the parchment paper, and transfer to a cutting board.  With a sharp knife, cut into apx. 1-1 1/2 inch squares.  For best results, rinse off the knife in hot water, then wipe dry after each cut.

 

Brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, best served at room temperature.

Makes about 25-30 small squares.

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Make The Perfect Brownies

I guess I need to start with the title of this post, Perfect Homemade Brownies… yes, I know the word “perfect” is quite presumptuous.  Certainly tastes and opinions will vary quite a bit from person to person…. so it would be impossible for everyone to agree on what is “perfect”.  I guess that’s one of the luxuries of being the author of a blog… I can pick what is perfect to me!  =)

These brownies are rich, full of chocolate flavor, fudgy and moist (without being overly dense or oily).  I would describe them as “better than a boxed mix” brownies.  They have very similar qualities to a great boxed mix, but a deeper flavor.

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I’ve made (and eaten) quite a few brownies in my life.  They are one of my favorite desserts.  I’ve been searching for a perfect homemade brownie recipe for a while, and I believe I’ve found it!

 

Perfect Homemade Brownies

Rich, moist and fudgy, without being overly dense.

Yield: 24 (2 inch) brownies

ingredients:

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1 Tablespoon (3 teaspoons) vanilla extract

1 cup (2 sticks) Challenge butter
2 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi sweet)

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directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F and lightly grease a 9″x13″ pan. If desired, line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add 4 eggs, and beat with cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Stir until fully combined and smooth.

In a medium sized bowl, melt butter in the microwave (or melt in a small sauce pan on the stove). When melted, add sugar, and stir to combine.

Add warm butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stiring until smooth. Make sure the butter mixture is warm, but not too hot, or it will scramble your eggs.

Add the flour and chocolate chips to batter and stir until fully incorporated.

Spread batter into prepared pan, and smooth as needed.

Bake brownies about 30 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the brownies and making a little divit so you can see the center a bit. You should find moist crumbs, but no wet batter.

Notes- For the best flavor, use the best quality cocoa powder you can. The original recipe calls for dutch cocoa, I used natural (not dutch) cocoa with great results, so I imagine you could use either.

The addition of the small amount of espresso powder will not impart any coffee flavor in the final brownies, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor.

If you’d like the choocolate chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, allow the batter to cool before adding chips.

Certainly, if you like nuts in your brownies, free free to add them at the same time as the chocolate chips.

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Enjoy these delicious brownies with a glass of milk, or scoop of vanilla ice cream.  They are sure to be a family favorite!