Okay, mint fanatics, this one’s for you. You’re welcome.
In case you’re wondering why you should be grateful, it’s because I’m not all that fond of mint. Never have been. It reminds me of toothpaste, so every time I eat mint, it acts as an appetite suppressant. Very useful if I’m trying to give up food (um, never), but not if I’m trying to enjoy my dessert.
So consider these brownies the ultimate selfless act. I gave them to my mint-loving brother, and he ate them all up. They work, ya know? This recipe is fairly traditional, but I made some tweaks of my own.
Being a baking blogger is often about tweaking. I try so many desserts that are close to my idea of perfection, but not quite there. That’s when I get in the kitchen and start making adjustments. Bar cookies too dry? Swap in brown sugar for white and cut down on the baking time. Cookies too flat? Chill that dough and stack it up taller on the baking sheet. Flavor not strong enough? More peanut butter or whatever good stuff is supposed to be in there!
You get the point. I tweak until I like it. Which is why I’m okay with other people tweaking what I do. After all, taste is subjective. Just don’t come crying to me if the recipe fizzles.
For the most part, I get really nice feedback for the work I do, so thank you for being lovely readers. But then I get some really fun ones. This one is good: “I tried your peanut butter cookies but I took out the peanut butter and put in Nutella and they didn’t work. Do you know what went wrong?”
Yes, love. You used Nutella. It’s not interchangeable with peanut butter. They both come in jars. They’re both delicious. But when you bake cookies with Nutella, that requires shortening, not butter, or the cookies will be flatter than a sheet of printer paper.
Or this one: “So I tried making your pound cake, but I put in oil instead of butter and it just didn’t taste like pound cake.” For serious?! It’s called pound cake because there’s, like, a POUND of butter in there. That rich flavor doesn’t bake itself! With oil, you might get a moist cake with not much flavor, or just a mess. I’m not really sure because I’ve never tried to take the butter out of a pound cake. Cut down on it, yes. Remove it? Noooooo.
This one takes the cake: “I liked your recipe for rocky road brownies, but I don’t like rocky road. Do you have other ideas?” You bet I do! Make plain brownies. Did you really need for me to tell you that?
That’s my snark coming out, everyone. It’s not pretty, but sometimes I have to release the feelings to move past them. It’s not that I don’t like questions, because I love them. But if you change my recipe, don’t expect it to work. Tweak away, but it’s on you!
So here are my tweaks to this recipe. For starters, the mint layer you see here is typically dyed green. I didn’t do that because it’s not natural, and I avoid food dye when I can. Mint is white, too. Snowy, cool mint. It works!
I also filled the brownies with candy cane-flavored Delightfills, which is Nestle’s thing. They make these lovely chocolate-filled mint chips. I had to work them in somehow.
And all my tweaking worked, so mint lovers can enjoy the brownies. I will personally head for a different holiday treat, so the rest of you can eat mine for me!
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa into the melted butter until it dissolves. Add the sugar and stir again. When the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and flour, mixing until just combined. Fold in the candy cane chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Cool completely.
- When the batter is cool, make the frosting. Cream the butter. Add the milk and powdered sugar and mix thoroughly. Stir in the mint extract.
- Spread the filling over the cooled brownies. Chill for an hour to firm the frosting up.
- When the mint layer is firm, make the chocolate topping. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate chips for 30 seconds. Stir and then melt again for another 30 seconds, stirring until smooth.
- Spread the melted chocolate over the mint layer. Chill until firm, about 30-45 minutes. Cut into squares. Store chilled in an airtight container.