I absolutely, hands-down-and-shake-them-all-around, love the peppermint brownie that Starbucks puts out for the holidays. Like, in a way that borders on scary. I seriously don’t know what they put in them, but I surmise that crack is highly likely.
Well, the other day, I NEEDED one of those brownies. But I wasn’t leaving the house because my hair also NEEDED to see a shampoo bottle and, frankly, that just wasn’t on the schedule.
So, I got to gathering the ingredients for a homemade, copycat recipe I found online, grumbling all the way through because that junk was complicated. Each recipe called for multiple steps, refrigeration, doing the hokey pokey, etc. Anyway, I’m whizzing around the kitchen, grabbing bowls, fiddling with ovens, hoisting flour, dodging puppies and my clumsiness just got the best of me. While reaching for the sugar on an overhead shelf, I got smacked, square in the head, with a bag of chocolate chips.
Story of my life.
When I bent to retrieve the bag, I saw that it wasn’t just any ole’ bag of chips. It was that bag of Nestle Tollhouse Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels I haphazardly threw into my basket a few weeks ago on a spree at Target.
Oh, now there’s an idea.
You could say it was divine intervention. I say it was a Christmas miracle for this little Jewish girl.
Instead of making that copycat Starbucks recipe, I made a brownie that has all the basic components of those blessed Starbucks treats: chocolate, peppermint, cream cheese, brownies, calories, calories, and CALORIES.
The result? Um, let’s just say I found out how many brownies I can fit into my mouth at once.
It’s 3, and it isn’t something that I’m proud of. But at least I didn’t have to wash my hair for them.
Peppermint Chip Brownies
(adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350.
First prepare the cream cheese swirl by creaming 2 tablespoons butter and the cream cheese with 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat in one egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Fold in 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
In another medium bowl set over a pot of simmering water, warm the butter and chocolate until the butter is all melted and the chocolate is halfway melted. Remove from the heat and whisk until all the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the sugar until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue whisking until the mixture is well blended. Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and fold together until combined. Spread the brownie mixture into to an 8 by 8 pan.
Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie mixture and swirl to achieve a marbled effect. Sprinkle with the chocolate/peppermint chips
Bake the brownies 20 – 25 minutes and allow them to cool before slicing.
*If you can’t find the mint chip mix, just use semi sweet chocolate chips and add a bit of peppermint extract in the cream cheese swirl mixture.