Saturday, December 6, 2014

Easy Chocolate Brownies With Peppermint Bark

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Christmas is a time to simplify, at least when it comes to baking.  Let's face it, we have the front door to decorate, the tree to pick out and trim, all the sales, virtual and otherwise, to hit before everything is gone, presents to buy and wrap, rooms to decorate, silver to polish, and on and on.  Some of us like to bake goodies to have around the house when guests drop in or to wrap and send to family and friends.  The whole process can take up to Spring if you are not careful and pace yourself. Remember you have Christmas dinner to host and that's when you really want to shine. Save yourself for that.  That's the main event and what all of us really look forward to.

I make tons of these every year for the holidays.  They are festive, yummy and, no matter the age, our family and guests really enjoy them .  They travel well so they are perfect for packaging and they make excellent hostess gifts. If you are having a holiday party, these are a great addition to the dessert table;  AND if you are having weekend guests put some of these in a box or on a plate next to their bedside table.  You couldn't ask for more!

The original recipe is simple enough and you can go that route if you want.  Better still, the Ghirardelli mix is quite good so why not save time.  Either way, you will be pleased with the results.





Chocolate Brownies with Peppermint Bark Original Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

8 Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark SQUARES™ chocolates, chopped into large chunks (for the brownies)

18 Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark SQUARES™ chocolates, broken in to large chunks (about 8 pieces per square) (for the finishing)
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil and grease with pan spray.

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a gentle simmer. Put the 60% chips and butter in a heatproof bowl and set it over (but not touching) the simmering water. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until the better is melted and both ingredients are completely combined. Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the warm water.

 Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk together gently. With a spatula, fold in the flour. Immediately pour ½ the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly. Next, sprinkle the chopped peppermint bark over the batter and then pour the remaining batter over this. Spread evenly.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. The center should be fudgy but not dry. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Place Peppermint Bark chunks on top of warm brownies and allow them to soften for 1 minute. Using a spatula, gently swirl the melting Peppermint Bark to create swirls of melted chocolate.

Refrigerate for 1 hour. Trim the 4 edges of the brownies by 1/4 inch. And cut into 18 squares.





My Easy version:

1 Box Ghirardelli's Triple Chocolate Brownies
1 tsp. Peppermint Extract
16 Perppermint Bark Squares
Crushed Peppermint Candy

I used a 9x9 square pan (glass)

Follow the directions on the box .  Add a teaspoon of the peppermint extract to the batter.  Cook as directed.

With the brownies still hot from the oven lay the peppermint squares side by side and touching on top so the will melt.  Place back in the oven for a minute or two until almost melted.  Take out and swirl with spatula or tooth pick.  Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candy on top. Wait until cooled to cut.

Trim the 4 edges of the brownies by 1/4 inch. And cut into 16 squares.

Notes: If you lay the squares whole instead of broken up, they take about 4 minutes to melt in the oven.  If you go that route, take brownies out about 5 minutes before they are done so they won't over cook. 

Original Recipe from Ghirardelli
This post originally appeared on my blog My Kitchen By The Lake December 2013

4 comments:

  1. Peppermint brownies sound good. But why trim them--I always like the edge pieces the best. Or is that the chef's dividend?
    --Jim

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  2. I doubt there will be any of these left for gifts if my daughter gets wind of this recipe. I suppose I'll have to show her your blog if I am hopeful of receiving any.

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  3. Brownies with peppermint bark sounds divine and they are so pretty too. I can see why your family and friends look forward to Christmas. Thanks for the easy version for folks like me that don't bake that often.
    Sam

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  4. Oh yes! I will try them this week. I am just posting a recipe tonight for spiced cocktail nuts…but these would be perfect for tins for gifts to my hair cut and color people!!! Got some cute tins at Container Store, btw.

    ReplyDelete

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