Makes 16 brownies
I grew up on Junior Mints, and I never lost my love of the flavor combination of chocolate and peppermint. My idea of a good time (still) is sitting in a movie theater clutching a bag of popcorn in one hand and a box of Junior Mints in the other.
These brownies are the fudgiest I've ever eaten. They are lit from within by a sparkle of mint from both the extract and a surprise ingredient. I tried making them with Junior Mints but the results weren't all I'd hoped for. After Eight mints offer the perfect solution, but if you're like me you should buy extra—I ate one for every three I laid in the pan. If you can't find After Eight mints you can use York Peppermint Patties; they are thicker but do a fine job.
If you really want to go the distance in the taste department, then use the brownie as a base for a Mint Brownie Sundae (recipe follows).
Unsalted butter for preparing the pan
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) sugar
3 extra-large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
20 to 25 After Eight mints or 8 York Peppermint Patties, unwrapped
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. With the rack in the center position. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing it to overlap 2 opposite sides by 2 inches. Butter the foil.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a metal bowl placed over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water, or in a microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven. Stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from over the water and let the mixture cool slightly. Sift the flour and salt into a small bowl. Set aside. Place the sugar and eggs in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the sugar and eggs until light yellow and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the vanilla and peppermint extracts. Add the melted chocolate mixture and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix just until blended. Scrape half the batter into the prepared pan. Layer the mints evenly over the top surface of the batter. Scrape the remaining batter over the mint layer, being careful not to dislodge the mints. Use an offset spatula or a butter knife to gently smooth the batter; make sure all the mints are covered.
Bake the brownies for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is shiny and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. The batter may puff irregularly, which is fine. It is better to underbake than to overbake these brownies. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the brownies cool completely in the pan.
Use the foil to lift the entire cake of brownies from the pan to a work surface. Peel away the foil and cut the brownies into 16 equal squares. Wrap the brownies individually in plastic wrap and store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Chocolate American Style
by Lora Brody
Hardcover; $35.00, 278 pages
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created July 2004
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