Minted Brownies

If you like York Peppermint patties, you will love these brownies! Rich, moist brownie topped with cool peppermint icing and glazed with chocolate....please don't count the calories when you take a bite of this scrumptious dessert.

The quickest way to melt the chocolate and butter in large volume is in a double boiler.

Make sure your butter is very soft when you mix confectioner sugar.

Brownies must be cool before minted icing is spread or you will have a big, white mess. Trust me, I know.

Gently rock the pan back and forth to spread the melted chocolate instead of using icing spatula. Top with toasted pecans if you want.

Cool brownie completely in the refrigerator before you cut. Cover with plastic wrap. It will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.

Recipe by Cooks Illustrated

Classic Brownies
1 cup pecans or walnuts (4 ounces), chopped medium (optional)
1 1/4 cups plain cake flour (5 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate , chopped fine
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into six 1-inch pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar (15 3/4 ounces)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mint Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter (equaling 8 tablespoons) softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar (8 ounces)
1 - 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon mint-flavored extract

Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped, or 4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13- by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Spread nuts (if using) evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.

4. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost--simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.) When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.

5. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.

6. When the brownies are cool, leave them in the pan.

7. FOR MINT FROSTING: In the bowl of a standing mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat butter and confectioners' sugar at low speed until just incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon milk and mint extract and continue to beat until combined, about 30 seconds, adding up to 1 additional tablespoon milk if necessary to achieve a soft spreadable consistency. Using an offset spatula, spread the mint frosting evenly onto the cooled brownies, cover with foil, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour

8. FOR CHOCOLATE GLAZE: Melt chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth; set aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

9. Pour the chocolate glaze on the frosted brownies; using an offset spatula, spread the glaze into an even layer. Cover with foil and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the foil overhang, cut into 2-inch squares, and serve. (Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

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