Super fudgy, moist brownies topped with a layer of sweet peppermint frosting, covered in a layer of soft chocolate ganache, then sprinkled with crushed candy canes to dress them up for the holidays.
Today I’ve teamed up with Sara and Kate, my friends from Our Best Bites, for a fun, virtual cookie swap. We’ve chosen a holiday cookie recipe from the other’s website to bake and post. I decided to bake their “heavenly Christmasy brownies.”
Bar cookies are one of my favorite cookies. They’re easy to make and easy to serve – perfect for the busy holiday season. Their Mint Brownie recipe is in their first cookbook, as well as on Our Best Bites. The cookbook version is slightly different than the online version. My version below is sort of a combination of the two.
We’ve also teamed up with McCormick. McCormick sent us spices, peppermint and vanilla extracts, and food coloring to bake with. My mom always used McCormick spices when I was growing up, and I’ve continued to rely on them for my baking. If you have questions about spices, the McCormick website has a great Spices 101 section.
To make it easier to get bar cookies out of the pan, line your pan with foil. To make it easy to mold the foil to your pan, turn your pan upside down and cover the pan tightly with foil, shiny side out. Remove the foil, turn the pan right side up and fit the molded foil into it.
Once you have the brownies out of the pan, peel off the foil and cut them in to squares. I like to use my watermelon knife to cut them. It’s long enough to cut through the entire row in one slice. I then rinse the knife in hot water, dry it and cut the next row. If you really want perfect squares, sometimes I’ll even bring out the ruler and measure the rows.
I loved these brownies. I kept going back to the kitchen for just a little bit more. They remind me of a brownie they make at a local pastry shop, Schmidt’s. Thanks Kate and Sara for sharing the recipe.
Please stop by Our Best Bites to see what holiday cookie they’re baking from Barbara Bakes.
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (1 -ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
red food coloring, 1 to 2 drops
6 ounces (about 1 cup) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
1/2-1 cup crushed candy canes
Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil, making sure the foil extends over the edges by at least one inch. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Chop the baking squares and butter into chucks and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until just melted and smooth. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
In a stand mixer or with electric beaters, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes. While the mixer is running, slowly add the melted chocolate and beat to combine. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Pour into prepared 9×13 pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out mostly clean. Don’t over bake! When brownies are done, cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, put in the fridge to chill (makes the frosting spreading easier).
Combine all frosting ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Add more milk a teaspoon at a time if needed. Spread evenly over chilled brownies and place back in the fridge to chill again while you do the final step. (I used an offset spatula to spread the frosting.)
Place chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until just melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then quickly spread on top of brownies.
Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and return to the fridge to cool. When chocolate has hardened, use the edges of the foil to remove the entire sheet of brownies from the pan. Cut into squares and serve.
slightly adapted from Our Best Bites
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by McCormick, but all opinions expressed are always my own.
More bar cookies you might like: