Chocolate: mint condition

Chocolate. A perfectly fine ingredient on its own. Some folks like to pair it with raspberry. Some, no doubt devoted fans of the Sacher Torte, marry it with apricot. Many add coffee and say “Make mine mocha.” And some benighted bakers actually pair chocolate with (gulp) orange. To which I say, “Hot chocolate is hot chocolate and OJ is OJ, and never the twain should meet.”

All of that said, there IS one flavor I find quite compelling with chocolate: mint. Now, is that a combo you’d ever dream up on your own? Yet from my first taste of Howard Johnson mint chocolate chip ice cream (and no one, to this day, has done that flavor better than HoJo’s), I’ve loved chocolate mint anything. Peppermint patties. Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. The aforementioned ice cream.

And chocolate mint brownies.

Jane Korhonen, a long-time King Arthur merchandise team member, moved to Michigan several years ago, way up to the U.P. With her she took a huge amount of organizational ability (something I’m sorely lacking); a loving, giving heart; and her special chocolate mint brownies.

Those brownies are still immortalized on our Web site (Jane’s Chocolate Mint Squares), but they’re not the same without Jane here to pass the plate. Every brownie came served with a smile—and that’s an ingredient you just can’t find on the shelf. Jane, if you’re reading this—we still miss you. And we hope you’re warmer in the U.P. than we are here, as I write this: a cool -20°F.

The following recipe is a takeoff on Jane’s. I made it in a larger pan, so it would be easier to cut out hearts, if that’s your desire. But each time I taste these (just to make SURE they’re OK), I remember Jane. And thank her for years of friendship, and inspiration, and chocolate mint squares.

Want to follow along with the recipe as you look at the pictures? Find it here: Melting Mint Hearts.

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This is a very simple recipe. We’ll start with melted butter, sugar, and salt.

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Stir till thoroughly combined.

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Add the Dutch-process cocoa

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…then the eggs.

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Stir till smooth.

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Stir in the flour and baking powder.

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And here’s the secret ingredient: extra-strong peppermint oil. Stirring in just 1/8 teaspoon gives these brownies assertive mint flavor. If you use peppermint extract, add it to taste, starting with 1/2 teaspoon.

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Grease a 9” x 13” pan. For easiest removal, line the pan with parchment, and grease the parchment. Pour the thick batter into the pan…

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…and smooth it out with a bowl scraper or spatula.

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Like this.

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Bake for 20 minutes. The brownies won’t have that distinctive shiny/crackly crust. That’s OK; you’re going to cover them with glaze.

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To make the glaze, stir together confectioners’ sugar, melted butter, milk, and peppermint oil.

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Stir or beat till smooth…

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…and spread over the cooled brownies in the pan.

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To make the chocolate drizzle, combine chocolate chips and heavy or whipping cream in a microwave-safe cup or bowl. Heat till the cream shows small bubbles around the edge.

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Stir the soft chocolate and  hot cream; it’ll seem gloppy at first.

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As you continue to stir, the chocolate will melt and come together in the center of the cup.

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Continue stirring till the cream is totally absorbed.

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Dollop the drizzle over the glazed brownies. The drizzle really isn’t thin enough to drizzle; but “chocolate drizzle” sounds better than “chocolate dollop,” wouldn’t you say? Recipe-writing 101.

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Cut the brownies in squares to serve.

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Want to get fancy?

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Loosen the edges of the cooled brownies, using a baker’s bench knife or table knife.

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Turn them onto a sheet of parchment, and peel off the parchment on the bottom.

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Glaze the brownies, and cut off the ragged edges, if desired.

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Use a heart cutter (or the cutter of your choice) to cut hearts. Yes, there’ll be scraps left over. YUM.

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Sprinkle with colored sugar while the glaze is still tacky, if desired. Be still, my heart!

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Melting Mint Brownies.

Bake vs. Buy

Buy: Solomon’s Gourmet Cookies, Chicago, Ill.: Chocolate Mint Brownies, a fudge brownie base with a cool mint frosting and topped with a silky chocolate glaze. 12 brownies, $19.95

Bake at home: Fudge brownies studded with chocolate chips, glazed with a rich mint icing, and drizzled with chocolate ganache. 12 brownies, $3.05

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. neverseenblue

    I was thinking about making these as a gift for someone. What’s the best way to store them? Will they keep ok at room temperature?

    Yes, room temperature for a few days, tightly wrapped, should be fine – store them just as you would any brownie. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  2. cnorlund

    Sue suggested Creme de Menthe, and I’m going to add Bailey’s Irish Cream as a possibility to add to the brownie recipe. We added some Bailey’s to our ‘easy foolproof fudge’ recipe several years ago—-and it went from good to, OH MY!! It made it so creamy in texture as well as taste, and got absolute rave reviews from everyone. We’ve made our fudge that way ever since. I think the reason it got added in first place was because the fudge got a little overcooked and was starting to get a bit grainy—so Bailey’s was added to cool it quickly and thin it. To our surprize it made it smooth.

    Reply
  3. SimplePleasure

    Hey PJ!

    I just finished making, eating ang blogging my Peppermint brownie! taste awesome. one question though is there a ratio on how much peppermint oil as per cup of brownie batter? I’m planning to make a thicker brownie baste. Any suggestions?

    Differing ratios of butter and sugar will effect the percieved intensity of the peppermint. This recipe uses about 1/6 teaspoon per cup of batter. So, somewhere between 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per cup for a starting point. Good luck with the variation. Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  4. Sharon

    I’ve been making these for years, cutting into 1″ squares and serving them in fluted candy cups. Served really cold, they are unbelievable. My friends call them “orgasm brownies”!

    Reply
  5. Sue E. Conrad

    Yum, chocolate and mint!!! I also have a recipe for Creme de Menthe brownies………..and what a hit it is!! Am going to be making a pan of them tonight and sharing them with boating friends tomorrow – hubby and I will be going out on their sailboat. And for those of you wondering how we can do that, we live in Florida. Been cold for the last few days (50s daytime, mid to high 30s at night), but nothing to shovel…YAY!!

    Reply
  6. Susan

    More on the chocolate -orange topic. I have a friend that just returned from Germany and brought back a milk chocolate bar with orange. I opened the package, broke off a square, popped it in my mouth, and mmmmm. Then I felt teeny bits in the chocolate as I started to chew and then I felt the heat. When I took a closer look at the package, I saw that it was chocolate with orange and pfeffer (pepper). Who knew that you could add pepper to chocolate? I am actually liking it, although I do prefer chocolate in its pure form.

    Reply
  7. Brenda

    Is there a way I could use regular cocoa and not dutched process. I have searched endlessly in my area with it no were to be found. I found out the hard way at Christmas that they are not interchangeable 🙁 I did order some from your sight but I would love to make them for a gathering tonight 🙂 Love the recipes and the products!! bren You could use regular cocoa in these, but you might want to add a small pinch of baking soda as well as the baking powder. Mary @ King Arthur Flour

    Reply
  8. Marcia

    I can find oil of cinnamon, peppermint, wintergreen and others with Wilton cake products. It is used most often in candy and lollypops. I use cinnamon the most often in broken glass hard candy. I saw a reference to watermelon flavor but have never seen that one for sale. I will have to look with Wilton products at a cake decorating store or craft store.

    Some of us can remember the cinnamon toothpicks and this is how they did it back in the 60s.

    Reply

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