Monday, March 18, 2013

Mint Brownies

St. Patrick's Day at our house is taken quite seriously. I spent the week sewing green dresses and making green necklaces for my two girls.  We started the day with Green Apple Pie waffles, then had lunch on Rainbow Bread (watch for the recipe tomorrow), and finished off the day with a very traditional St. Patrick's Day meal, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Boiled Potatoes, and Irish Soda Bread.   We finished off the meal with Mint Brownies, one of my absolute favorites.

I took a few different recipes and combined my favorite aspects of each to create these decedent, fudgy, and perfectly minty brownies that sent the meal right over the top.
Mint Brownies
Makes a 9x13 pan

4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (4 ozs)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. 

Chop the unsweetened chocolate and butter into chunks and place both in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until just melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use a hand mixer) beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla for 2 minutes.  While mixer is running, slowly pour melted chocolate mixture into egg mixture and beat to combine.  Combine the flour and baking powder then add to chocolate mixture, and mix until just combined.  Pour the batter into a prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Cool completely on a metal rack.  When brownies are cool, prepare the frosting.
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 pkg (8ozs) Neufchatel cheese, room temperature
1 tsp mint extract
4 drops green food coloring
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, and neufchatel cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add mint extract and food coloring, mix to combine.  Add powdered sugar and beat until combined, then drizzle in the cream while the mixer continues.  Whip for 3 more minutes.  Spread evenly over the cooled brownies.

Chocolate Ganache
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In a double boiler melt chocolate, stir in whipping cream.  Continue stirring until well combined.  Cool to room temperature and pour over the mint layer and spread evenly.  Let the brownies sit in a cool area to allow for the ganache to set up.  

I found that the biggest challenge with these wonderful brownies is eating just one.  My oldest came to me tonight and asked for a second brownie.  I told her I was still to full from dinner to even watch her eat it, and she replied, "Mom, I will hide in the kitchen and eat it so you don't have to watch me".  How could I say no to that.  Hope your St. Patrick's Day was lucky, and full of tasty treats!

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites and

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