Sunday, December 24, 2006

Caramelized Sugar & Mint Brownies

I was originally going to try to make brownies Thursday night to take to school on Friday to spread some sugar-high-holiday-spirited-sugar-chocolate-did-i-say-sugar cheer. But, that didn't happen. Instead, much to Aunt Dana's delight (since she loves peppermint patties), I'm making them as dessert tonight, since I highly doubt the Peppermint Dark Chocolate Whipped Cream Tart (or whatever its name is) travels well. It'll be for New Year's Eve now.

However, don't be mistaken by the peppermint patties. Due to some error on my part, they were no longer peppermint patty-like. But if you like a crunch in addition to the chew in your brownies, they're quite good.

Caramelized Sugar & Mint Brownies
based on mint chocolate brownies in Everyday Food Dec. 2006, p.115

1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into tablespoons, plus more to grease foil
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
24 (12-ounce bag) small peppermint patties, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Put water in saucepan on stove to come to a simmer. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang. Butter foil.

In a small bowl whisk cocoa powder and flour together.

Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Stir occasionally until just melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar and salt until smooth; whisk in eggs. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa powder just until smooth. Do not overmix.

Spread 1/3 of batter into prepared pan. Arrange peppermint patties in single layer. Top with remaining batter and smooth. Bake until toothpick in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, around 45 minutes.

Cool completely in pan and remove using foil. Peel off foil and cut into 16 (2x2) squares. The brownies from the border will have a caramel crunch.

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