I'm not sure why, but I'm not one for baking with mint very often...although after seeing so many mint/green St. Patrick's Day treats on other blogs I might change that. But, these were requested by some friends of mine, so I gave it a shot. Once again, another King Arthur Flour recipe comes through again.
This is not a quick recipe, but it's worth the time and a little extra work. I read the directions for the mint layer a few times, just because I didn't want to mess it up. No worries, it worked out perfectly and that mint layer fit right on top of the batter! Think of this as a York Peppermint Patty, in brownie/bar form topped off with chocolate ganache. Wait! That sounds WAY better than a York!
Thick Mint Brownies
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)
4 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons shortening
1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons heavy cream
16 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 very full and packed cups brown sugar
1 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chunks
2 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
To create the filling
In a large mixing bowl, beat together confectioners' sugar, butter, shortening, peppermint extract, flour and heavy cream until completely combined. To make the slab, cover the back of a 9x13" pan with saran wrap. Lightly coat with nonstick spray.
Evenly spread the filling on top of the wrap to form a rectangle just a touch smaller than the bottom. Cover with more saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350
To create the batter
In a large saucepan set, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar and stir until combined. Leave on stove and heat the mixture until very hot - but don't let it simmer or boil. Keep stirring until it becomes shiny and pretty smooth.
Remove from heat and mix in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Combine the flour with the chocolate chips, then add that mixture into the batter. Mix until combined.
Lightly coat a 9x13" pan with nonstick spray. Scoop half of the batter into the bottom of the pan. Remove the filling slab from the refrigerator and peel off the saran wrap. Gently place the filling in the pan, on top of the bottom layer, and finish covering with the remaining batter.
Bake for roughly 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick placed in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To create the ganache
In a small saucepan, heat cream until very hot, but not boiling, over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the chocolate to the cream. Stir until it becomes thick and spreadable. Frost on the cooled brownies and let set up before cutting.