• 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 14 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 bags)
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons King Arthur espresso powder or instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs. sugar
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag Mint M&Ms
  • 1 bag Guittard Smooth N Melty Mint Chips

This is officially my last Christmas recipe of 2012! I know this post is 3 days late, but you will definitely want to bookmark this brownie recipe to use year round. The Barefoot Contessa has done it again with these dense, chocolately, outrageous brownies. I adapted Ina’s recipe slightly for this minty Christmas version, but this is a great base for any type of brownies you want to make. This recipe is almost pure chocolate so you can imagine how dense and rich it is, not for the faint of heart (or someone predisposed for heart attacks). I made the mistake of mixing marshmallows into the batter, do not do this! I thought it would be a good experiment, and although they still tasted amazing, there was no need for the extra sugar.

If you frequently read my blog, you probably know by now that I have compulsions to buy limited edition holiday candy. So basically starting around Thanksgiving I began accumulating various flavors of holiday M&Ms, chocolate chips, candy canes, Trader Joe truffles and Dove Promises. I also have about 10 raspberry cream filled santas that I got on sale at Walgreens. I’m not really sure why I do this because honestly I still have pink peanut M&Ms from last Valentine’s Day and Cadbury Eggs from last Easter. (Don’t tell Romain or his hoarding accusations may gain more validity). So on the night before Christmas, in a state of panic, I was determined to use the my bag of red, green & white mint M&M’s and the peppermint white chocolate chips that I had purchased on impulse. I chose Ina’s brownie recipe because of the raving reviews and the knowledge that you cannot go wrong with mint chocolates mixed into more chocolate. This is how these fudgy mint brownies were born.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9X13 cake pan and line with parchment paper if you really want to be safe.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. If you prefer to use the microwave, first melt the butter then begin to stir in some of the chocolate. Continue to heat the mixture in 30 second increments until you are able to stir smooth. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, espresso powder or coffee granules, vanilla, peppermint and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in half a bag of Mint M&Ms.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the pan against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough.  At this time, sprinkle the top with the Smooth n Melty Mint Chips and the rest of the M&Ms. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

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