Wanna make your party guests swoon? Whip up a batch of these
and you’ll have ‘em begging for more, guaranteed. Happy holidays, indeed! Note
that if you happen to have oil of peppermint on hand, a few drops will
definitely add extra pep to the minty–fudgy flavor.
Makes 16 2-inch squares.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely broken
1⁄4 cup finely crushed peppermint pinwheel hard candies,
1 tablespoon more for garnish, if desired
2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
2 1⁄2 tablespoons unsweetened natural (non-alkalized) cocoa
powder or Dutch-process cocoa powder sifted after measuring, if lumpy
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1⁄4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 or 4 drops oil of peppermint, optional
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2⁄3 cup unbleached all-purpose white flour
1⁄2 cup (31⁄2 ounces) chopped semisweet or bittersweet
Position rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350°F.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing it to overhang on
two opposite sides. Coat the foil with nonstick spray.
Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over very low
heat, stirring occasionally, until fluid. Add the chocolate and crushed candy and
stir constantly until completely melted and smoothly incorporated. Immediately
remove from the heat; stir in the sugar and cocoa powder until evenly incorporated.
Set aside until cooled to barely warm (if the mixture is too warm, it will cook
Whisk the eggs, extract, oil of peppermint (if using) and
salt into the cooled chocolate mixture until very smooth and glossy. Stir the
flour into the mixture just until well blended. Turn out the batter into the
foil-lined pan, spreading into an even layer, then smoothing out the top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean,
24 to 28 minutes; if the pick comes out with wet batter clinging to it,
continue several minutes longer, then check again. Continue checking until just
barely baked through. Immediately sprinkle some fine peppermint shards over
top, if desired. Bake 1 minute longer, then let the pan cool on the rack.
For easiest cutting, refrigerate the brownies until chilled
and firm. Lift them to a cutting board using the foil. Gently peel off and
discard the foil. Trim off the edges all the way around, then cut into quarters
in both directions to make 16 brownies. (Or cut as desired.) Store these,
airtight, for 2 or 3 days. They can be frozen, airtight, for up to 1 month.
BY NANCY BAGGETT ON 12/15/2012 12:00:00 AM
POSTED IN sweet treats, winter holiday recipes, chocolate, brownies, happy holidays, christmas recipes