Candy canes add merriment to Chocolate Mint Brownies. With chocolate cake, peppermint cream, & chocolate fudge layers, they're easy & festive!
I have been collecting recipes for almost 40 years.
I see something that looks fun or interesting and say to myself, "I'd like to make this sometime." I then promptly forget about it as I move on to the next interesting find.
That's probably why I have so many duplicates in my files (and on my on Pinterest boards).
Because everything is online now I rarely go back to my paper recipes. When I do look for an old recipe it's fun to see what I find.
Case in point, I ran across this old beauty for Hershey's Double Chocolate Mint Dessert.
Archive dive, dressed for the holidays
I've made this chocolate mint dessert many times over the years. This time we dressed it up for the holidays by adding a little crushed candy canes to the dish.
[Side note: I say "we" because my younger daughter is home for a few weeks and we love baking together. She's the one who designed her sister's wedding cake and her brother-in-law's groom's TARDIS cake.
My daughter actually took over my Instagram story for the day as we were making the brownies and created a really cute collage. It's so fun to have her around!]
A dessert in three parts
Similar to Nanaimo Bars, this recipe for Chocolate Mint Brownies is made in three distinct layers. You'll want to give yourself enough time for everything to chill before moving on to the next step.
Step 1: Make the cake layer
The cake is pretty straightforward. Cream butter and sugar together, then add the rest of the cake ingredients and bake.
Nothing to it.
We ditched the canned chocolate sauce from the original recipe in favor of homemade chocolate syrup. It has only five ingredients, is preservative-free with no tinny taste, and comes together in a snap.
Step 2: Make the Peppermint Cream
Here you get to take out your aggressions on some poor, unsuspecting candy canes.
You'll want some pieces and some dust. The amount will depend on your mental state, of course!
Peppermint Cream is made like buttercream frosting. Beat all the ingredients together until smooth.
Spread the peppermint cream on the cooled cake layer, add a few drops of red food coloring, then sprinkle on some additional crushed candy.
Chill until the peppermint cream is firm.
Step 3: Make the chocolate fudge topping
The chocolate fudge topping is just chocolate melted with butter. The butter allows the chocolate to set more firmly than chocolate ganache.
Spread the chocolate fudge on top of the peppermint cream, then sprinkle the topping with the remaining crushed candy. Chill to let the topping set.
The decadent chocolate & candy cane blanket makes this minty dessert go from good to yummm...
Chocolate and Mint are meant to be together
We all know that chocolate and mint are a winning combination (witness Mint Chocolate Chunk cookies). These Double Chocolate Peppermint Brownies are no exception.
The crushed candy canes add a merry touch to the layers of rich chocolate cake, smooth peppermint cream, and fudgy chocolate topping. Dreamy!
If you need to share the brownies, the recipe doubles easily. It also freezes well to keep on hand whenever you need a chocolate & mint fix.
I'm glad I still have all my old recipe files. Who knows what I'll come across next?
I hope Double Chocolate Peppermint Brownies make an appearance at your holiday celebrations. They're so easy to make, fun, and festive, and they'll stand out on your dessert table.
Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, Happy Hogmanay, and/or Happy whatever-you-celebrate!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
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Double Chocolate Peppermint Brownies
- parchment paper
- serrated knife
- hand mixer
For the cake
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup chocolate syrup, homemade or store-bought
For the peppermint cream
- 8 small candy canes, crushed
- 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more as needed, sifted
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ teaspoons water
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon mint extract
- 1 teaspoon candy canes, crushed
- 3 drops red food coloring, optional
For the chocolate fudge topping
- ½ cup dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8- x 8-inch baking pan with baking spray, line with parchment paper, then spray the paper.
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the flour, eggs, and chocolate syrup and mix until smooth (the batter will be liquidy).
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched (the top may still appear wet).
- Cool the cake completely in the pan by bringing it to room temperature for 30 minutes, then chilling in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes.
- Prepare the peppermint cream: While the cake is chilling, place the unwrapped candy canes into a ziplock bag and pound with a meat mallet until crushed.
- Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add the butter, water, and mint extract and beat until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon of crushed candy canes to the cream and mix until well combined.
- When the cake is thoroughly chilled, spread the mint layer evenly with a small offset spatula. Add a few drops of red food coloring and swirl into filling, then sprinkle on some additional crushed candy. Chill the cake until the peppermint cream is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Make the chocolate fudge topping: Chop the chocolate using a serrated knife (it works better on chocolate than a chef’s knife). In a small microwave-proof bowl melt the chopped chocolate with 3 tablespoons of butter on HIGH for about 60 to 90 seconds or until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
- When the peppermint filling is firm, top it with the chocolate topping using a small offset spatula to spread evenly, then sprinkle on the remaining crushed peppermint. Chill for another 30 minutes.
- Remove bars from pan and cut into sixteen 2- x 2-inch pieces. In order to get clean cuts, dip a serrated knife into hot water and wipe dry between each cut.
- Serve and enjoy minty chocolate goodness!