Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

In my last post, I mentioned that I'm participating in a 52 week cooking challenge. I also decided to participate in the 52 weeks of baking challenge. It follows a similar format to the cooking challenge, and gives me a chance to bake with specific ingredients or themes in mind. This week's baking challenge is brownies.

Initially, I wanted to fall back on a chocolate/peanut butter recipe, but decided to push myself to try something new. I had never worked with peppermint before, (except for a batch of cupcakes I was making, which resulted in shattered candy canes EVERYWHERE), so I chose a recipe I had favorited a while back.

Even though the brownies bake for only 20 min, the recipe requires quite a bit of patience. Each portion of the brownie requires cooling, and the complete product needs to cool for 2 hours. This is definitely a recipe you want to start earlier in the day.

Grasshopper Brownies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
10 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

For mint ganache
1/4 cup heavy cream
10 oz white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

For chocolate ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
10 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Make brownies:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with 2 sheets of foil, (one in each direction) leaving overhang on all sides. Spray foil with a nonstick spray.

Melt butter and chocolate with brown sugar in a medium saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until combined. Whisk in flour, cocoa, and salt until just combined.

Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake until set, (a toothpick inserted in center should comes out with moist crumbs), about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

Make mint ganache:
In a small saucepan, over medium hear, melt white chocolate with the heavy cream. Whisk until smooth, remove from heat. Stir in peppermint extract and chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 1 hour.

Make chocolate ganache:
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt chocolate together with the heavy cream. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat, chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 30 minutes.

Assemble layers:
Spread mint ganache over top of cooled brownie in a thin even layer using a spatula to evenly distribute. Chill until firm but still slightly sticky, about 30 minutes.

Spread chocolate ganache over mint and chill about 2 hours.

Lift brownies out of pan. Cut dessert into squares and peel from foil.

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