Over the past couple of weeks I’ve realized that it’s a lot harder trying to be who you really are and find out what truly makes you happy, than people let on it is. Maybe it’s just easier for some people?
I guess I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching in the past months, and have found out that it’s really challenging to be true to yourself and do what you love to do. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who’s felt this way.
At the same time… I’ve been thinking about these brownies. I started thinking about them last Friday and couldn’t stop thinking about them until I made them. I’ve also made them once before which means that this must be a truly outstanding recipe since I rarely make things twice.
There’s just something about a dense, chewy brownie, topped with a smooth creamy peppermint filling, and then blanketed with a layer of chocolate ganache, that is to die for. This time around I decided to switch things up a bit by making the brownie layer “lighter” (without sacrificing any flavour though!). The last time I made them I also made the middle layer vanilla flavoured and used mint chocolate chips for the top. This time I made the middle layer mint like the original recipe calls for. Both versions are fantastic though!
I also tried adding a few drops of green food colouring to the center layer to start getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day festivities. I went light on the dye, but I think you could up the anti for some truly festive brownies for your holiday parties! People will love you, especially if you serve them cold to really intensify the cool mintiness of the filling!
Peppermint Patty Brownies
1/4 cup butter
1 square unsweetened chocolate (1 oz.)
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
3 large egg whites
1 tsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
In medium sauce pan, melt butter and chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa and sugar. Mix until well blended – it will have the consistency of very wet sand.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, egg whites, coffee and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until well blended and smooth.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the chocolate mixture and stir just until combined.
Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes (I left mine in for 30 minutes for ultimate fudgeiness) until set around the edges but still slightly soft int the middle. They will seem to be not quite cooked, but will set a little more as they cool. Do not overbake. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp half-and-half cream
1/4 tsp vegetable or canola oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4-1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 drops green food colouring (or more for a more intense colour)
In a large bowl, add powdered sugar, butter, cream, vegetable oil, vanilla and peppermint extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Taste to make sure you think it has enough peppermint taste for you, I tend toward the larger amount of extract. Mix in food colouring to your liking. Pour over the brownies and spread in an even layer with a spoon. Place in the fridge until set, about 30 minutes.
3 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 Tbsp half-and-half cream
Place both ingredients in a bowl over a pot of lightly simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Spread over the top of the peppermint layer and place back in fridge to set. Serve cold!
(Adapted from this recipe, and One Smart Cookie by Julie Van Rosendaal)