Peppermint topped fudgy brownies are the stuff of chocolate dreams! Moist and rich below, creamy and minty above. Packing as much chocolate as I could manage, and with an intense bittersweet flavor, these brownies have earned the name amazing.
Let me tell you the story of the Christmas brownies which almost never were.
For our family holiday celebrations, I am the one who usually (okay, basically always) brings the cookies. I love making cookies, and I have LOTS of recipes for them so it’s all good. But I also like to mix it up and put out different combos each year…possibly why I’m a food blogger. 😉
I even had an old recipe I used to make and we used to love.
I pulled out the recipe, one I hadn’t made for at least 15 years…maybe longer, got the ingredients and whipped up a batch. Hmmm. Either I wrote it down wrong all those years ago, I made them differently than the recipe and never jotted down my substitutions, or we had terrible taste buds back then! They were dry, crumbly, moderately chocolatey, and just not that good.
But it was the evening before we were out the door on our way across New England! What to do!?!
Bolt of Inspiration
What I did was toss out those pretenders and go to sleep thinking about rich and yummy fudgy brownies. And, when I woke up I knew what I had to do. I started jotting down the recipe. In about 5 minutes I had the recipe and went to make it.
They were perfect. Chewy and moist, but not heavy. With a creamy ganache over the top to really amp up the chocolate flavor. And just enough peppermint to wake up your taste buds.
I won’t pretend this a simple, one bowl, no effort brownie recipe. But I will say that after I tried one I wrote the word amazing at the top of my note paper and underlined it. And then I brought them up to Christmas and everyone else also gave them big thumbs up.
Anyway, enjoy and I will definitely be more cautious about pulling out those old recipes and expecting them to work right away! 🙂
What do you need?
- Chocolate – Bittersweet chips + cocoa powder.
- Espresso – Just a little but it makes all the difference!
- Eggs/Sugar – Whipped up together until light. We want fudgy not heavy.
- Butter – 10 tablespoons unsalted.
- Dry Ingredients – Flour and salt.
- Peppermint – Both a teeny bit of oil and crushed candy canes.
- Heavy Cream – For the ganache.
How to make this
To make fudgy brownies with a peppermint ganache, make a batter of melted chocolate, butter, cocoa, whipped eggs, sugar, and flour. Bake the brownies and then top with a simple bittersweet ganache flavored with peppermint.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler. Whisk in the cocoa powder and espresso powder.
- Whip the eggs with sugar, vanilla, and salt until thick.
- Stir together the chocolate and eggs.
- Mix in the flour and bake until done.
- Cool, then spread with a peppermint ganache.
- Garnish with crushed peppermint candies.
1. Melt the chocolate
This step isn’t difficult, but there are a few tips I’ll share!
First, keep the temperature down on the double boiler. Being cautious about melting chocolate and going slow is always the best choice.
Second, stay close. You don’t need to stand over the pot every minute, but you will want to keep an eye on it and be ready to move it off the heat as needed.
Third, adding the cocoa powder to the hot mixture allows the cocoa to bloom and really deepen its flavor.
Fourth, espresso powder is a secret weapon, making the chocolate more chocolatey.
2. Whip the eggs
To keep the brownies from being too dense and giving them a little lightness, you are going to whip the eggs up with the sugar. This will take several minutes and you’ll have thick, light colored (almost white) eggs.
3. Mix and bake
Once you have the chocolate and the eggs, gently mix them together with your spatula. (You don’t want to mix out all those bubbles!)
Then sift the flour over and give the batter a few turns until the flour is all mixed in.
And, last, pour into the baking pan, bake, and then cool.
Tip: To make sure you are not overbaking, use an instant read thermometer and check the temperature in the center. To stay fudgy your brownies should be between 200-205F.
4. Peppermint ganache
To make these brownies truly special it’s time to make some ganache!
This is really simple. Boil some cream. Pour it over the chocolate (making sure it’s all covered). Wait a few seconds. Whisk until smooth. Then wait until it is cool enough to spread.
I’ve used chopped bars and I’ve used bittersweet chips and both work very well.
The biggest tip I have is that the ratios are based on weight, not volume. Though I did include a volume measure for the chocolate chips (and the cream is same either way), to be completely accurate use a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients.
How do you store them?
Once the brownies are completely cool and the ganache has set, store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Alternatively, spread them out on a baking sheet and freeze until hard then wrap them in plastic wrap and transfer them to a sealed bag. They will keep for up to 3 months.
Tips for smooth cuts
- First, let the brownies cool completely.
- Second, use a serrated knife and cut straight down.
- Third, clean the knife in between cuts.
If you try my recipe for Amazing Fudgy Brownies, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Baking, Annemarie
Amazing Fudgy Brownies with Peppermint Ganache
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 4 oz (~2/3 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (2 oz) natural cocoa powder
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
- 6 oz (~1 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) heavy cream
- 2-3 drops peppermint oil, or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2-3 large candy canes, or equivalent peppermint candy
- Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x9 metal baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving ends overhanging.
- Fill a medium pot with a couple inches of water and bring it to a near simmer (steaming but not bubbling) over low heat. Add the butter and chocolate to a heat proof glass bowl which fits over the top of the pot.
- Place the bowl over the steaming water and melt the chocolate and butter. Stir occasionally with a silicone spatula until smooth.
- Take the bowl off the heat and place it on a kitchen towel. Add the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Whisk until smooth.
- Combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Whip with a hand mixer until the mixture is thick and light colored, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the chocolate into the egg mixture and combine.
- Sift the flour over and lightly mix the flour into the batter. Mix with a large spatula only until there are no streaks flour left.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the temperature of the brownies reaches 200-205F.
- Set the pan over a cooling rack. Cool the brownies in the pan for 15 minutes. Pull them out using the parchment overhangs and let them cool to room temperature on the cooling rack.
- Measure the chocolate chips into a bowl.
- Bring cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips, pressing down any chips which are sticking out.
- Let the cream sit for 30-45 seconds. Then begin whisking, starting from the middle, until the ganache is smooth.
- Add the peppermint oil or extract and whisk in.
- Let the ganache cool until it is at a spreadable consistency, about 30 minutes in a cool kitchen.
- Spread the ganache over the brownies. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candy over.
- To cut the brownies, use a large serrated knife and clean it off as needed between cuts. Start by trimming the edges. Then cut the square straight down with the knife into an 8x8 grid, making 64 brownies.
- Measurements: In the ingredients list, cups are measurements by volume and ounces are measurements by weight. Also, the cup measurements of the chocolate chips are approximate, depending on the shape of the chips and how packed they are in the cup.
- Eggs: To get eggs to room temperature quickly put them in very warm water for a few minutes.
- Melting the chocolate:
- Make sure the water does not boil or touch the bottom of the bowl.
- If you only have metal heatproof bowls, be extra cautious since they heat up more easily than glass.
- If the water or bowl seems to be getting a bit too hot, you can either take the pot off the heat while keeping the chocolate over the pot or take the bowl off and put it on a kitchen towel while you stir. Taking a little longer than you need will not harm the chocolate, but getting it too hot can cause the chocolate to scorch or seize.
- Pan Size: If you use an 8x8 pan, increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes, and check the temperature of the brownies with an instant read thermometer.
- Using a Glass Baking Pan: Glass will cook the brownies faster. Either check about 5 minutes earlier or reduce the oven temperature by 25F. (And once again, checking the brownie temperature with your thermometer will keep you from overcooking them.)
- Flavor: These brownies intensely chocolatey and not overly sweet.
BitofBacon Pet Corner
For Christmas Ginny got a new poof cover (since the old one was falling apart and making a mess of the living room on the regular). On the old poof cover only one pet at time could sleep. I don’t know why. I don’t make the rules! But it was always either Ginny or Midnight. Never both.
The new poof cover can hold two pets.