Chocolate Mint Brownies

Just like the half-moon cookies I pursued in an attempt to recreate childhood favorites, chocolate mint brownies were an obvious addition. I’m not sure why the combination of rich chocolate and the sharp taste of peppermint go so well together, but it’s an undeniably appealing combination. Surprisingly, good recipes can be somewhat tricky to find. I eventually settled on the Classic Mint Chocolate Brownies from Sally’s Baking Addiction. They looked like the real deal: a burst of mint green frosting sandwiched between a rich brownie below and a smooth ganache above.

As with most dessert recipes in my home, particularly those that are unproven, I look to half the recipe. Brownie recipes can range from simple to finicky, and these are on the easier end the spectrum. Chocolate and butter are melted together (I used my go-to Ghiradelli 60% for the chocolate) and cooled slightly. Sugars are added in, followed by eggs, vanilla, and a mixture of salt, flour, and cocoa. The instructions said to bake for about 35 minutes, but mine were done a bit earlier. The brownies had started to pull away from the edges, and the middle offered some resistance when pressed with a finger (Stella Parks likes to remark it should feel like pressing on your forearm). Some reviewers complained of a thick crust on top, which I suspect was due to overbaking.

After cooling the brownies, the mint frosting is made from a mixture of butter, powdered sugar, and milk, with a peppermint extract and food coloring added at the end. After applying the frosting, the whole brownie block is refrigerated for 1-4 hours.

The ganache is then made from a mixture of butter and chocolate heated together, poured and smoothed over the mint later, then refrigerated again for several hours.

While the repeat refrigeration steps made for a long prep time, the actual creation of the brownies was not particularly laborious. The flavors seemed on point – the brownie layer was densely fudgy, and the mint frosting added the appropriate amount of brightness. However, the texture of the brownie was a bit too fudgy for my tastes. Sally recommends keeping the brownies in the refrigerator, and I can see why. These come across more like mint-frosted fudge rather than the more substantial brownie than I was expecting. Perhaps adding more flour would help the consistency and avoid the need for constant refrigeration. This didn’t stop the kids from making quick work of them, and it will certainly satisfy the desire to recreate a favorite treat.

Chocolate Mint Brownies

  • Servings: 12 brownies
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

A fudgy chocolate brownie topped with mint frosting and chocolate ganache, adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients

Cookies: 112 g unsalted butter 112 g bittersweet chocolate (chopped) 150 g sugar 50 g light brown sugar 2 large eggs at room temperature 5 g vanilla extract 1/4 tsp salt 50 g all-purpose flour (increased from original) 10 g cocoa powder (I used Dutch-processed)

Mint frosting: 56 g unsalted butter, at room temperature 120 g powdered sugar, sifted 15 g milk 1/2 tsp peppermint extract green food coloring

Chocolate ganache: 56 g unsalted butter 112 g bittersweet chocolate (e.g. Ghiradelli 60%)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8×8″ pan with cooking spray and line with parchment.
  3. Whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa powder (sifting the cocoa powder if needed).
  4. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter then add in the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour into a bowl to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Add in the sugars and whisk until smooth.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking in each until fully incorporated.
  7. Whisk in the vanilla, then the flour mixture.
  8. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until the brownies start to pull away from the edges and the center feels a little firm.
  9. Cool the brownies in the pan until room temperature, then move to a wire rack.
  10. In a stand mixer or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the butter and slowly add in sifted powdered sugar until fully incorporated, then add in the milk and beat until smooth. Add in the peppermint extract and food coloring.
  11. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the frosting to the top of the brownies and smooth. Refrigerate for at least an hour to set the frosting.
  12. Melt the butter for the chocolate ganache, then add in the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour over the chilled brownies, smooth with a spatula, then return to the fridge for at least an hour prior to cutting into individual brownies.


They say making mistakes is the first step in learning. I must be learning a lot.

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