Baked Goods / Desserts / Holiday Recipes / Vegetarian

Fifty Shades Of Grey & Chocolate

dark chocolate peppermint crunch brownies

This is not a sponsored post.  I eat Junior Mints year round and the Hershey’s Special Dark was on sale so I bought it.  It was actually quite potent and good.

It’s been a rough week of sorts, colored or rather, darkened, I should say by the massive backdrop of slate shrouding our Seattle skies.  For all our fear of drought conditions this summer, I think we just made up for it this week.  Yesterday it was like the whole city was in a fog, traffic snarled everywhere, all day long and everyone I knew was just a little more on edge or in a funk, no doubt, thanks to our gloomy weather.

It’s times like these when I remind myself not only to pop the Vitamin D but also to find the little things that bring me joy.  When the sky and the energy all around seem just a bit too heavy, I find that chocolate is the best company.  I originally had other plans for this recipe, but something wonky in the air intervened this week and I found myself with a box of Junior Mint peppermint crunch candies.  Well actually, two boxes.  I ate one on the way home from the store.

I don’t know if I’d call this recipe a total success.  Much like the week, my kitchen was snarled under a mess of pots and pans and strewn with chocolate batter and green frosting by the time all was said and done.  What little daylight I had to try and get some good photos quickly disappeared behind that thick blanket of smokey grey clouds that seemed to snicker as they rolled on by.  The one comedic highlight in all of this was that, just as I finally captured the last shot and shoveled not one, but two of these brownies into my mouth, I got a call from my doctor.  She had called to follow up to tell me my cholesterol levels were amazing and were probably due in large part to my good diet.  Seattle winter be dammed, that was the best news I had all week.

dark chocolate peppermint crunch brownies

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Brownies

Ingredients

For the brownies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
1-3.5 oz box of Junior Mint peppermint crunch candies, roughly chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons crushed candy canes
Pan spray

For the frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
green food coloring
1/4 cup crushed candy canes

Makes one dozen.

dark chocolate peppermint crunch brownies

Instruction

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to slowly cream butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs and peppermint extract.  On low speed, mix in cocoa powder.

Use a spatula to fold in Junior Mint peppermint crunch candies and flour.

Crush candy canes in a food processor or plastic resealable bag with a rolling pin.  Set aside.

Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan and pour in brownie batter.  Smooth out with spatula.  Sprinkle with crushed candy cane pieces. Place on the middle rack of the oven.  For fudgier brownies, bake for 20 minutes.  For more cake-like brownies, bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely, about 20 minutes.

dark chocolate peppermint crunch brownies

Meanwhile, blend butter and powdered sugar in a small bowl.  Add in a few drops of green food coloring and mix until frosting is blended.  Keep in refrigerator until ready to frost brownies.

Cut brownies into 12 pieces.  Coat with frosting and sprinkle with remaining crushed candy cane pieces.

dark chocolate peppermint crunch brownies

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