And breathe…….I don’t know if your December has been anything like mine, but it has been crazy!!! I’m sad that my DVR is piling up with all of my favorite shows (um, hello…..Nashville!!) since I haven’t had any time to just sit and relax. Last week I was helping with my church’s annual Women’s Christmas Desserts (it’s a wonderful function for the women of the church to join together in fellowship), it turned out lovely, but was a lot of work. I spent 13 hours at church last Tuesday alone! And last night Hubby and I were out until 2:30 AM for his holiday party. (They are party animals…..I am not!)
So, what better way to decompress after a late night out and a couple of dessert events than to make more desserts. Winter and the holidays put me in the mood for peppermint, it must be the cool, crisp air. I love chocolate chip mint ice cream anytime of year, but around this time of year, I love peppermint ice cream (the pink colored kind which Hubby LOVES!), peppermint lattes, and a good chocolate/mint combo. I really think boxed brownies are excellent and love them a little under cooked, but I wanted to make a homemade brownie and capture the essence of the holidays.
Mint Brownies (adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon whole milk (I used half and half)
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Candy cane pieces (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter 8x8x2 metal baking pan (I used a glass pan and had some trouble getting brownies out). Stir butter and chocolate in small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add chocolate mixture, flour, peppermint extract and vanilla extracts and salt; stir until just blended. Mix in nuts.
Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
Beat powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, milk and extract in bowl until creamy.
Spread over warm brownies. Chill until set, about 1 hour.
Stir chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over mint topping, spread evenly. Add peppermint candy cane pieces on top if desired. Cover and chill until set, about 1 hour. Cut into 20 squares. Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover with foil; store at room temperature.)
In fact, I shared these with some of my dearest friends for our annual gingerbread house decorating party yesterday. We had a buffet of sweets and carbs (what us girls love) and enjoyed a fun afternoon together.
As you can probably guess, I’m off my gluten and dairy free diet right now and maybe indefinitely. There are just too many foods that I love this time of year to restrict my diet. And so far, it hasn’t miraculously made me pregnant. I’m taking my last birth control pill for my HRT FET (hormone replacement therapy, frozen embryo transfer) tonight and started my Lupron injections this past Wednesday. This coming Friday is my suppression check, my fingers are crossed that we get the green light to proceed ahead.
Hope you are all enjoying the holidays!!! If you are busy like I am, take a little time for yourself and make these brownies!!!