Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cashmere Brownies


My husband has some funny quirks I love to tease him about. One of which is his love of coats. He buys coats the way some women buy shoes. He has a coat for every occasion and every possible weather combination. One that has a hood for rain. One that's a shell for when it rains, but it's warm. One that's perfect for snowy, cold days. One that's full of pockets, because you never know. A sporty jacket for going out running errands. A zip up for going to the gym. And that doesn't include old coats he doesn't wear but keeps for sentimental reasons, or the coats he'd like to buy, but can't justify.

I totally understand this. Really. The same old thing doesn't work for every occasion. Sometimes you require something a little dressier, a little more tailored. The same concept applies to baking. You can't make the same cake or cookies every time you bake and expect people to get excited. (Unless you only make cookies once a year, and if that's the case, why on earth are you reading this blog??) And making the same plain chocolate brownies can get a little monotonous.


Enter the perfect solution - Peppermint brownies. Take a basic brownie. Infuse it with peppermint. Frost it. And add a swirl of white chocolate to fancy it up. These are not basic, zip-up hoody, everyday brownies. They are the upscale, cashmere overcoat of brownies. It's a little extra effort, but so worth it!

Peppermint Brownies
- adapted from Cookies by Fine Cooking

10 oz. (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
10 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp peppermint tea leaves (from about 2 tea bags)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) all-purpose flour
2 oz. ssemisweet chocolate
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 oz. white chocolate

1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. with a rack in the center of the oven. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, line it with parchment paper so that the paper extends at least an inch above the long sides, and butter the paper.

2- Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Melt 8 oz of the butter and 8 oz of the unsweetened chocolate in the bowl. Stir occasionally with a heatproof spatula until the mixture is completely melted and uniform, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave the bowl over the water.

3- In a food processor, finely grind the peppermint leaves with the sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, peppermint extract, salt, and peppermint sugar until just combined. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Reserve the simmering water for later.

4- Slowly add the flour, gently folding it in with a spatula, until incorporated. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean (a few bits of batter should cling to the toothpick), 35 to 40 minutes.

5- Put the pan on a rack to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. When cool, lift the paper lining to pull the brownies out of the pan. Peel the paper off the brownies and put them on a cutting board.

6- Bring the pot of water back to a gentle simmer and set a heatproof bowl over it. Add the semisweet chocolate, corn syrup, and the remaining 2 oz butter and 2 oz unsweetened chocolate. Stir frequently with a heatproof spatula until the mixture is melted and smooth; set aside.

7- Put the white chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl and set it over the water. stir frequently until it's melted and smooth; remove it from the heat.

8- Spread the semisweet chocolate glaze over the cooled brownies in an even layer using an offset spatula. Drizzle the white chocolate over the glaze in lines. Use a toothpick or a wooden skewer to drag the white chocolate in parallel lines.

9- Refrigerate until the glaze is set, at least 20 minutes and up to 12 hours. Cut into thirty bars, about 2 inches square. To cut cleanly, use a knife rinsed in hot water and then dried. Keep the bars well covered and serve at room temperature.

27 comments:

Baking Soda said...

I totally understand. Both. The coats ánd the brownies. Every time I see the elegant swirl I think Oooh have to make these, so why didn't I?

Peabody said...

It's marble brownie week! These look super yummy, I love peppermint everything.
Oh, and I share your husbands love of coats.

Melinda said...

Well, I certainly understand the multiple need for brownie recipes.
I would put a different brownie on each finger if I could.
But the multiple coat thing is just too weird. (LOL! Just joking you Mr. Craig!)

Fanny Wijaya said...

The marble effect looks great. I should try this.

VeggieGirl said...

Haha!! So fun about your husband, and how you linked it to creating more brownie recipes - kind of like how I keep creating blondie recipes for my blog!! :-)

Bellini Valli said...

I can see that these would be well worth the effort:D

Grace said...

you've gone and improved the brownie approximately 132% in my eyes. a little peppermint goes a long way in dressing up a simple brownie and makes them irresistible to me. :)

Aimée said...

I love dressing up, Lynn, and these brownies are just my style. They look amazing and you did a great job on the top.

Elyse said...

I'm all for this metaphor...any dressed up brownie sounds like a brownie for me! Plus, the name cashmere not only makes me think luxurious decadence but also smooth, rich, creamy texture. Looks like these brownies have it all! I'm already a huge mint fan, so I can't wait to try these couture brownies.

Debbie said...

The brownies look good. Peppermint is delicious....

Maria said...

The brownie looks so deluctable! Funny your hubby loves coats, mine has an obsession with bikes and hoodie sweatshirts!!

Lucy said...

Those brownies look so good - well worth the extra effort :D

Natashya said...

I love the swirly pattern in the brownies! Very professional looking. They look really tasty, great with a nice, strong cup of coffee.

LyB said...

Oh, how I wish I could have as many coats (or pairs of shoes) as I do recipes! Well, I might not be adding anything to my closet but I'm sure adding this to my list of recipes to try. :)

Brilynn said...

Very pretty!
I'm a fan of frozen peppermint brownies, eaten right out of the freezer.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Dang Lynn you know I love you and all you bake but . . . sorry no peppermint with my chocolate . . . bring on the coats though I love that idea!
Beautiful brownies.

Coco Bean said...

wow, beautiful brownies. I have a question, tonight was my first time ever making brownies (sans box mix) and I had such a hard time with the butter. It melted with the chocolate fine, but it kept separating out of the final batter. I noticed that you melted the two the same way as I did but without the drama, and since you are such a seasoned chef I was hoping that you would have some tips?

Olivia said...

Yum...these are so elegant! They look absolutely delicious.

The Cooking Ninja said...

ooooh ... peppermint brownies :) yum yum :)

I know what you mean. Yesterday night I bake a Chocolate Pear Cake for dessert. My father-in-law thought 'Oh no, another typical chocolate cake' until I told him that 'No, there are pears in it'. You should have seen the surprised and delighted look on his face and said : 'aaahhh ... pear and chocolate - delicious combination.' He loved it so much that he had a 3rd helping. :)

Katrina said...

Awesome marbling job. These look delicious!

Coco Bean said...

thanks, you know what, I think I will try your recipe next time, since it seems to work so well!

Deborah said...

I made some cookie bars that were swirled like this a while back, but they did not work out as beautifully as yours did!!

Dee Light said...

They look like a work of art!! I bet they taste good too.

Tartelette said...

I rarely meet a brownie I don't like!! These look absolutely decadent!

Amber said...

I made these brownies yesterday and all I can say is, I'm in love!

I thought the recipe was easy and straight forward, and the result was amazing. I love the subtle peppermint flavor. This is my new favorite. I love them best just out of the refrigerator.

Jude said...

Peppermint does wonders to chocolate. Makes it so much lighter and refreshing. Yum.

The Pouting Princess said...

I tried to do a cheesecake brownie which needed swirling for decoration but it didn't look anywhere near as nice as yours!