Today I am excited to share with you a guest post from friend and fellow writer Kate G. Jameson. The holidays seemed to go by too fast this year, so here’s a tempting treat to keep your spirits bright through the new year! Pop over to her blog of fairy tales and fantasy and dive into the realm of story.
My family has a lot of holiday traditions and most of them revolve around food. Every winter, for as long as I can remember, my mom pulls out the staple of our winter cookie collection: the mint brownie bars.
My mom apparently came across this recipe in a home ec class years ago and it’s been a favorite ever since. It’s a little more complicated than your average brownie because it’s made from scratch, but I promise it’s not terribly complicated. It’s done in three stages; the brownie, the mint filling, and the chocolate glaze. There’s even time between each stage to catch your breath, re-read the recipe, or wash dishes.
What You’re Gonna Need:
- 11 1/3 tbsp. butter (I know it’s a strange amount, but it goes in three separate parts of the cookie)
- 5 oz. unsweetened chocolate
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 2 c. confectioners’ sugar
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Food coloring (my family likes to use either red or green, in the spirit of Christmas)
- 9×13 baking dish
- Mixing bowl (either 3 different ones, or one that you wash between uses)
What You’re Gonna Do:
For the brownies:
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Melt 2/3 c. butter (not all the butter) with 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate in a saucepan. Remove from heat. You’ll have to stir it pretty consistently so the chocolate doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
3. Stir in all the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the saucepan with the chocolate mixture and stir together.
5. Line the 9×13 pan with wax paper and grease the paper. Pour the brownie mix into the pan.
6. Bake the brownies for 25 minutes. Don’t cut them yet. Let them cool for 10 minutes.
7. Pull the brownies out of the pan as one big rectangle (this is where the wax paper comes in handy) and let them cool completely.
For the mint filling:
1. Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, peppermint extract, ¼ c. soft butter (pull it out of the fridge and let it get room temperature), and add a few drops of food coloring. Stir until it’s all smooth and combined.
2. Spread the filling over the top of the brownies (I keep saying brownies, but it’s still more like a cake at this point, so don’t cut them yet).
3. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the filling firm up.
For the chocolate glaze:
1. Melt the rest of the unsweetened chocolate (2 oz.) with 2 tbsp. of butter. Again, make sure to stir it so the chocolate doesn’t burn.
2. Pour the chocolate over the mint filling and spread it evenly over the top. If you get chocolate on your finger, I do not recommend licking it off. It is unsweetened chocolate and not very tasty on its own.
3. Freeze for a short while to let the chocolate set. Then cut into 1”x 2” squares.
Storage Tip: For as long as I can remember, my family has stored our Christmas cookies in the freezer. It’s a tradition from my dad’s side of the family and we’ve continued it, because to us, nothing says “It’s the holidays” like a cold cookie. I’m not saying you have to keep the mint brownie bars cold, but eating some cold with a cup of hot chocolate or tea is one of my favorite things. I’d recommend you at least try it.
Kate is a recent graduate of Taylor University. She eats more chocolate than she probably should and is rather addicted to Irish Breakfast tea. Kate has a passion for magic and fairy tales and loves writing about both. You can find her online on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and her blog. She’d love to hear from you!