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Thursday, December 1,2011

Double Chocolate Candy Cane Brownies

By Danette Randall

Tom Turkey was delicious once again. He never disappoints, and symbolizes the start of the shopping and hoopla frenzy.

December is a fun month, a busy month, a slow-the-jingle bell-down-you-are-going-too-fast month. Which means we need a fun, simple fa-la-laddity-la treat to ring in the festivities.

Now, don’t hate if I start out with a candy cane lover’s dream. I know that isn’t the most subtle start of the holiday month treat explosion, but I said it was going to be fun, so fun it shall be. Double Chocolate Candy Cane Brownies. Come on, that’s simple, fun and sure to be a taste explosion in the ol’ kisser. And everyone needs something cute and tasty before all the fights and flipping of the bird over parking spaces commences. Who can resist a chocolatey brownie? I think they are the one dessert that appeals to one and all. These are moist brownies, with a touch of peppermint added. Then we go balls to the wall with the topping. A hard-to-resist ganache topping, with crushed candy canes over top. Shut up! Yes, they are going to be tasty as all getout.

Now, if you feel that candy canes go against everything you believe in, well then I can’t help you. Oh, I’m kidding, I can help.

Just use those little round peppermint candies.

Simple solution. You are doing yourself and your people a solid by not using a boxed brownie mix. None of those ingredients you can’t pronounce, just straight up butter, sugar and eggs, yo! I find it so easy to make a homemade brownie, there really is no need for a box ever. These brownies are a one-bowl (saucepan) recipe. Melt, measure, stir and wham-o, you are done.

The one thing people screw up with this recipe (not you, of course) is the over-baking. It’s not just this recipe, actually, it is any brownie recipe. It is going to look a tad underdone people, this is what you want. This will make your holidays merry, this is the brownie that could solve all the problems in the world. A lot of pressure for a brownie, but it’s up to the challenge, are you?

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it, and invite me over when it’s done.

Double Chocolate Candy Cane Brownies

1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
4 tbsp. cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp. pure peppermint extract
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 crushed candy canes

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, hang extra over sides, to make lifting out of pan easy. Butter or spray lightly with non-stick spray.

In medium saucepan over low/medium heat, melt butter, stir in cocoa powder and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well. Add peppermint extract, flour, salt and baking powder, stir until smooth.

Pour into prepared pan, smooth top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Take out and let cool.

In small sauce pan over low heat, melt chocolate, add whipping cream and butter and stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, and then spread over brownies that have cooled and have been lifted out of pan. Smooth frosting. Top with crushed candy canes. Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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