So, I have a confession. Left to my own devices, I’m sort of – okay, really – a bit of a culinary bore.
Sigh. I know. I try to make new things, but I’m always so drawn to the recipes I personally prefer that I veer strongly enough toward the rich chocolate/blondie/peanut butter varietals that I end up in a rut, buying bags and bags of chocolate chips and brown sugar and wondering why I’m getting bored. My life is terribly difficult.
This is why it’s good that virtually all of my baking is done for other people, and for people who know what they want. Somewhere in my mind I’d been tossing around the idea of mint chocolate brownies, but until a friend – who happens to love anything mint chocolate – moved across the country, I didn’t have enough reason to try it out. But everyone needs a good snack on a long plane ride, right? A rich, chocolatey, minty snack? With candy canes?
Because I wanted to make these a little more interesting than just regular brownies with a little peppermint extract thrown in, I based the concept off of Nanaimo Bars, and if you’ve never had them, I suggest that you seek out a recipe immediately. The brownie recipe is an earlier post from the blog; top it with a layer of mint creme, a glazing of chocolate, and some crushed up candy canes, and you’ve got a pretty decent going-away present. And something to eat on the plane.
Layered Mint Chocolate Brownies
One recipe of the best brownies, cooled completely
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered vanilla pudding mix
2 cups confectioners sugar
mint extract, to taste (probably about 1/4 teaspoon)
green food coloring (optional)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 teaspoons butter
About 5 regular-sized candy canes or 10-13 small ones, crushed
Cream butter, heavy cream, extract, and pudding mix together until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Mix in food coloring, a drop or two at a time, until it reaches your desired shade. Spread evenly over cooled brownies; chill.
Gently melt chocolate and butter in the microwave, working in 30-second intervals and stirring after each interval. Spread over chilled bars. Quickly sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Chill.
To slice, dip a sharp knife into hot water, wiping the knife and re-dipping after each cut.