Mint-Chocolate Brownies

4 May

I’ve learned that in the food world, it’s so easy to go from being conscious and ingredient-aware to being flat out pretentious and snobby. I admit, I’ve fallen into the latter all too often, especially when I scoff at other people’s baked treats-from-a-box. After reading all my food blogs and recipes, I (arrogantly) think that I know food, that I do food right, more than anyone who eats fast food or makes brownies from a box.

Except brownies from a box…are pretty amazing. Making brownies from scratch- melting the chocolate, whisking in this and that- it all just feels excessively laborious considering how good brownies made from a mix can be.

Maybe it’s just the familiarity, the childhood memories of baking the Betty Crocker mixes with my sister and thinking that we were such good cooks. There’s that certain burnt-chocolatey taste that only seems to come from brownies from a box (especially in the chewy-crunchy edge pieces- my favorite!) and I simply cannot manage to recreate in homemade brownies.

Another added plus: with less time spent on preparing the actual brownies, it opens up more opportunities to play with the flavors and additions.
Take these mint chocolate brownies, for example.

I’ve been craving mint chocolate brownies for a few weeks now. The fudgy brownie, the creamy, light green mint topping, the ganache-like chocolate shell. I never really ate them much as a kid, yet suddenly I longed for all the non-existent memories attached to them, embedded in their familiarity.

But when I’m really craving something, I don’t have the patience to make it from scratch. I usually end up buying it (and more often than not, being disappointed), or I try to find some shortcut that will get the food I crave in my belly ASAP. So here comes in the brownie mix. Literally five minutes later, the brownies are in the oven, and I can focus on getting that minty green color just right. It’s really a snap to pull together now- so easy, that I almost feel guilty. Almost. But I’m too busy stuffing these delicious bites of fudginess in my mouth.

Mint Chocolate Brownies

(Adapted from Joy of Baking & Scrumptious Photography)

Makes enough for a 9 x 9 inch pan of brownies

Brownies:

Give in and buy the box! Prepare according to instructions. Make your life easier and line your pan with foil or parchment paper.

Mint Layer:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup + 2-3 tablespoons confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1-2 tablespoon hung yogurt (this was heavy cream in the original recipe)
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract or 1-2 tablespoons crème de menthe
green food coloring (optional)

Chocolate Glaze:
3 ounces (90 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter
(my chocolate glaze was nearly melting at room temp., so use a bit less butter if you want a firmer chocolate shell)

Mint Layer: Using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients until smooth. Add a few drops of green food coloring if you like. If the frosting is too thick, add a little extra cream/yogurt. (The frosting should be just thin enough to spread.) Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled brownie layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes or until firm.
Put in freezer just before covering with chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze: In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or in a double-boiler), melt the chocolate and butter. Let cool a little so it doesn’t melt the mint filling. Spread over the mint filling and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate glaze starts to dull.

To Serve: Remove the brownies from the pan (lift the ends of the foil) and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into squares (makes about 45 squares 1.5 inch squares). Rinse off your knife with hot water after each cut, to make the cuts cleaner. The brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for several days or they can be frozen. They’re actually quite good eaten straight from the freezer, late at night…!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: