Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies

Candy cane brownies are super fudgy 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. These Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies are perfect for any party. 

peppermint candy cane brownies stacked on a serving platter

I teamed up with Sara and Kate, my friends from Our Best Bites, for a fun, virtual cookie swap. We choose a holiday cookie recipe from the other’s website to bake and post. I decided to bake their “heavenly Christmasy brownies.”

Fudgy brownies are one of my favorite desserts. 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. 

What makes fudgy brownies?

To make extra fudgy brownies, you need to use a higher ratio of fat to flour. More flour makes cake-like brownies. Using more butter helps to soften the brownies up, making them fudgier.

Christmas brownies topped with candy canes

The cookbook version is slightly different than the online version. My version below is sort of a combination of the two.

How to Make Fudgy Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies

This is such an easy brownie recipe!

Making Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies

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.

Cutting and decorating fudgy brownies with chocolate ganache and candy canes

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.

Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies

I loved the 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 their twist on my Chocolate-Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies.

Yield: 16 brownies

Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies

Peppermint candy cane brownies are super fudgy brownies topped with sweet peppermint frosting, chocolate ganache and crushed candy canes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 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
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting

  • 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

Chocolate Glaze

  • 6 ounces (about 1 cup) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons butter

Peppermint Topping

  • 1/2-1 cup crushed candy canes

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 9x13 pan.
  5. 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).

Peppermint frosting

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.)

Chocolate Glaze

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.

Notes

slightly adapted from Our Best Bites

More bar cookies you might like:

Almond Toffee Bars, Barbara Bakes
Tropical Magic Bar Cookies, Barbara Bakes
Triple Chip Blondies, Our Best Bites
Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Shortbread Bars, Our Best Bites

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fudgy,brownies topped with peppermint frosting, chocolate ganache, and crushed candy canes