Can you believe that Christmas is just one week away? I can’t. Can you believe that this time next week we’ll be unwrapping presents and filling the house with delicious Christmas food smells? I can’t. Can you believe that we still don’t have plans for Christmas day? No, I can’t either. December has completely flown by this year, leaving me – someone who normally starts planning Christmas in September – completely and utterly unprepared. We spent a week in the UK this month, which took over all my organisation time, leaving hardly any for Christmas Day.
Christmases can be a bit difficult here – my dad lives about a 30 minute drive away from us, but My Official Treat Taster’s family lives about 4-5 hours away. By plane. Which is why we do ‘alternate’ Christmases. They come over and visit one year when I am on edge for every second of every day until they’re gone, then the next year we have a snuggly bunny Christmas with just the two of us. This year it’s just us two. High five! But we have no plans at all. HELP!
I got a bit overwhelmed at the idea of being so unorganized last weekend and instead of grabbing the corkscrew, I face-planted this tray of brownies. Best. Solution. Ever. No one can be overwhelmed, angry or upset when you have a face full of these chocolate peppermint brownies.
Chocolate Peppermint Brownies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 9 brownies
for the brownies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
for the peppermint layer
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
few drops of green coloring
for the ganache
3.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 baking tray with parchment paper.
Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract before whisking in each egg, one at a time until a batter forms.
Stir in the flour, cocoa powder and chocolate chunks.
Pour into the lined baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Place on a wire rack and leave to cool.
Whilst the brownies are cooling, you can make the peppermint layer by beating together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, oil, peppermint extract and green coloring until smooth and creamy. Pour this over the cooling brownies and spread with a spoon so it's even. Place in the refrigerator until set.
To make the ganache, heat heavy cream until warm and pour over the chopped chocolate. Leave for around 5 minutes then stir until combined, creamy and smooth. Spread over the peppermint layer and slice into individual brownies.