Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun Size Brownies

After Halloween is over, the costumes are put away, the makeup is wiped off, and the kids are roused out of their sugar comas, two questions remain. What to do with the pumpkins, and what to do with the candy.

This year I was super lazy and didn't even buy a pumpkin to carve (my kids will eventually get over it, possibly with years of therapy), so I don't have my usual pumpkin-colored compost heap next to my front door. I generally don't have the heart to toss their carefully carved creations. Then, when they get gooey and slippery, I don't have the nerve. I wait till the first good freeze, then I can scoop it up with a snow shovel and drop it directly into the garbage.

One year I was feeling super thrifty so I bought sugar pumpkins and we just painted cute faces on them so I could then cook down the pumpkin to use later. I put the cooked goop into plastic freezer containers and put it in the freezer. I think it was about 2 years before I finally tossed it.

Leftover candy is not nearly as much of a challenge for me. I can either stick it in the treat basket, from which we pull snacks for movie time or outings, or I can bake with it. Ideally, all the candy is handed out to the darling urchins who ring the doorbell in their sweet angel / super hero costumes. And if not to them, then the teens who just can't get over the idea of free candy and who think a hooded sweatshirt qualifies as a costume.

This year it poured rain on Halloween day and I think everyone scrambled to plan B, which did not include trick-or-treating, so I was left with a big bag of leftover candy. Fortunately, it was all ingredients. You know, the kind you can chop up and put into baked goods that make it even better than the original.

First out of the oven - peppermint pattie brownies. Those frosty little morsels of peppermint goodness go really well in a dark, fudgy brownie. And if you're just too sugared out right now to even think about making these, put all your peppermint patties in a zip-loc bag and put them in the freezer. They'll be ready and waiting whenever the mood for these amazing brownies strikes. Which, really, shouldn't be too long, now that I've planted the idea in your brain.

Fudgy Peppermint Pattie Brownies
- adapted from a King Arthur recipe

1-1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup (8 oz) butter
2-1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups (6-1/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 bag mini peppermint patties

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F with a rack in the center of the oven. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan.

In a small bowl combine the cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

Unwrap the patties and place them in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat briefly, just till it's hot but not bubbling. It will become shiny looking as you stir it. This will dissolve more of the sugar and give a shinier top crust to your brownies. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

Add the cocoa mixture and the vanilla and stir. Add the eggs, beating till smooth; then add the flour, beating till well combined.

Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it to cover the whole bottom of the pan. Place the peppermint patties over the surface of the batter, close together, but leaving 1/4-inch uncovered around the edge. Carefully spoon and spread the rest of the batter over the peppermint pattie layer, smoothing the top.

Bake the brownies for 28 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out dry, with maybe a few crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set both on the edges and in the center. Remove from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen the edges with a table knife; this helps prevent the brownies from sinking in the center as they cool. Cool completely before cutting and serving. Makes 2 dozen brownies.


ashley said...

these look fabulous!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Hooray for using up leftover Halloween candy in the most decadent way possible!! Yum :0)

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Hmmmm I'll have to go check thru the boys candy bags....oh the possibilites!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I love chocolate and I love peppermint, just never together. Probably represents a great defect in my character.

I found a lovely use for a pumpkin & I think you'll like it too.

Glad you were able to pull yourself out from under the covers.

Bunny Trails said...

Oh my goodness!! Brownies and peppermint patties... I am officially in HEAVEN!!! Thank you so much for this. My husband wants to know where you want the money sent? LOL

Anonymous said...

I've seen this recipe and have been wanting to make it for a while. It looks delicious! I love chocolate and peppermint.

Johanna B said...

I have lots of leftover Junior Mints. I wonder what they would be like swirled through the batter?

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Ashley - Thanks!

VeggieGirl - Yes, decadent is my middle name.

Lisa - Keep us posted on what you find!

MyKitchenInHalfCups - We can still be friends. It's just more for me! Can't wait to see what you do with pumpkin.

Bunny Trails - Just tell your husband to spend it on you. You deserve it more!

Erin - If you love fudgy brownies, this is the one for you!

JohannaB - Ooooh, that sounds fabulous! Good idea.

Anonymous said...

I think we shall have one/two of these with our tea and sandwiches today!
Delish, darling!

Dee Light said...

Peppermint Patty Brownies!!! Yummy! I used left over snickers bars in my last recipe of cupcakes. They were yummy too.

southern daze said...

These look absolutely divine!

Aimée said...

My hubby dislikes peppermint, but I confident I could polish off a pan of these!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Great way to use the Hallowe'en goodies. I have no oexcuse to buy Hallowe'en candies anymore since I live in a condo. I would always by my favouriutes so I could have leftovers.

Anonymous said...

Those looks so delicious. I want to have one now. Will keep the recipe.

Debbie said...

What a great idea...I will have to remember this for next year!

eatme_delicious said...

Yumm excellent use of the leftover candy! There's a peppermint patty brownie recipe in another cookbook I've been wanting to try. Thanks for reminding me! They look delicious.

Sarah said...

Oh, I've already eaten all my leftover peppermint patties! :) They are my vice. But...I could...go out and buy more if I had to for this recipe... They look amazing! Perfect flavor combo.

Jacque said...

Mmm, those look sinful! Great idea (although my thighs may curse you later, LOL, not really).

RecipeGirl said...

P. Patties are a fave of mine though my son didn't get a single one this year in his trick or treat bag!

These brownies would be a nice treat for my mint-lovin' hubby!

Heather said...

ohhh yum! mint and chocolate! i am going to have to try these right away! they sound delicious!!

Peabody said...

Mmm, those look good. We only have Sweet Tarts and Skittles left...I doubt they would make for very good brownies. ;)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lynn, these are wonderful! I have been craving brownies lately, and your version for filled ones sounds and looks amazing!

Hallie Fae said...

These look so good and what a cute idea. Everyone loves surprises in the middle, especially if its minty and fudgy.

Sweet Treats by Dani said...

i am on my way to get one of these :)

Katrina said...

Ooh, yum! I have a mint brownie recipe where you just put Andes mints on top of the hot brownies and then when they melt you spread it evenly, but THESE look even better!