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Holiday baking has made it’s way into my home and I couldn’t be happier. Let the sugar rush begin!
I was playing around with this brownie recipe I’ve previously blogged about and adapted it just slightly to make it more festive. I’ve already given three pan-fulls away — they are that good to share.
And distributed the next day? I think the brownies get even better after having sometime to sit in the fridge. They are much prettier to cut once the frosting has chilled and I swear the brownies get more fudge-like as well.
They are still minty (of course) but instead of layering chocolate frosting on top of mint, I substituted crushed peppermint candies on top. Peppermint flavored M&Ms to be exact. (Is this a new thing this year? I don’t remember seeing them on the shelves before.)
With the red and white crumbled candy shells and white chocolate filling, these holiday M&Ms are the prettiest topping. If you’re looking for more crunchy texture, crushed candy canes would do the trick. But I like the softer, melt-in-your-mouth feel of chocolate.
Happy baking. Bring on the treats!
Brownies with Pink, Peppermint Frosting
adapted from Mint Chocolate Brownies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 pan and set aside. (You can also slip a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom and butter it as well to make sure the brownies come clean out of the pan.)
In a large bowl, stir melted butter and unsweetened cocoa powder together. Next, beat in the eggs. Add in the honey, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated and the batter is thick and smooth. Pour brownie mixture into buttered pan, bake for 20-25 minutes. Around 20 minutes, prick with a toothpick. They will be done when a few crumbs cling to the toothpick, these brownies are soft and moist so be careful not to over bake. Set aside to cool.
While the brownies are baking, make the pink, peppermint frosting.For the peppermint frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2-4 drops of red food color
With an electric mixer, cream butter on medium speed till smooth. Gradually add the confectioners sugar and mix for one minute. Next add in the peppermint extract and the red food coloring. Mix for one more minute till the color is a happy light pink. The frosting should be rich and thick. (If you want a thinner frosting, mix it a little longer on a higher speed or add a tablespoon or so of milk).
Frost the pink peppermint goodness over the cooled brownies. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies on top. You can serve immediately, but I like to refrigerate the brownies for an hour or so to make the frosting cleaner to cut.
Note: I’ve realized that I like using salted butter in my frosting. So, I’m calling for it in this recipe. I’ve previously stuck with unsalted, but I’m a believer in salt enhancing flavors. Also, I really like salt.