Tuesdays with Dorie: Brrrrr-ownies!

York peppermint patties and brownies, what could go wrong?  This week’s recipe was chosen by Karen of Welcome to Our Crazy Blessed Life.  She picked these delicious brownies and I couldn’t wait to try them.  One problem, where does one get York Peppermint Patties in Israel?  While most Hershey’s products are imported (and sold at exorbitant prices) these are not.  Wait, doesn’t Rocker Dude’s dad have a secret stash of York’s that magically gets refilled when people come in from the states?  (He also keeps his in the freezer.  There must be something about secret stashes and freezers – they just go well together.)

Yor Peppermint Patties

So these brownies are courtesy of Rocker Dude’s dad S.  After he reads this, Rocker Dude will be stopping by with a special shipment for him and R. his mom (but don’t tell 😉 ).

I was running late with this week’s recipe.  Usually I try to make it the week before it is due, but we were at Rocker Dude’s parents for the weekend because his nephews came in from Boston, so I did not have a chance to make these.  I even intended to make them on Sunday night, but somehow, the night got away from me and I didn’t end up going to be until 12 and still didn’t accomplish anything – oy!  So I made a conscious decision to make these brownies as soon as I came home from work on Monday.  One of Rocker Dude’s really close army friends was coming over anyway, so then we could share the calories!  Of course, the Little Rocker had a different plan in mind and did not let me leave her for a minute.  So this had to wait until she went to sleep.

We recently took the side of her crib off because she had been climbing over it to get out anyway.  And she has a history of dislocating her elbow (my family genes, can’t blame the hubby) so we didn’t want to take a chance.  Her crib is right next to a bed, so now she can stretch out over both and she can climb out of bed on her own without diving over the top of the crib rail (of course this leads to little visitors with fuzzy hair at 3 o’clock in the morning climbing into my bed, but at least she comes prepared – she brings her blankie, her stuffed monkey and her water before she climbs in – how cute!)

You can see how her crib is pressed up against the regular bed which is in turn against the wall. Oh yeah, and that's Momo, her best monkey friend.

Anyhoo, basically this means that if she does not have her eyes closed when we leave the room, she will be up knocking at her door to get out five minutes later.  Last night she decided that she really wanted me to stay with her and wouldn’t let me move, so I laid down next to her (another advantage of no crib rail) and fell asleep with her (wouldn’t you?).  Rocker Dude came in twenty minutes later to wake me up.  Okay, now we are ready to bake.

Mixing in the flour to the chocolate mixture.

This recipe was so easy and I love that it was a one-pot job.  Those are always the best recipes.  Melt chocolate and margarine – check.  Mix in the other stuff – check.  Chop up peppermint patties and mix in – check.  Bake —- done!  How much harder could it be.

All the components

As this was obviously a dairy recipe (there is a pareve version of York’s but according to S. (who is a connoisseur) they are not worth trying) I baked this in my toaster oven.  It took a bit longer to cook, but still came out wonderfully.

I was too impatient to wait for them to cool and I hat a piece while it was still burning hot.  It made for a nice contrast with the mintiness.  I will try them again when I get home (they were in the refrigerator all night) to get the total frozen minty experience.

The main ingredient

Everyone should make these – they are sooo good.

Brrrrr-ownies

Check out the recipe on Karen’s site here and see what other TWD baker’s did here.

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Mint Chocolate Brownies – For You, Imma

I am dedicating this post to my mom, Imma (that’s just Hebrew for mom) and to all the childhood memories it brings back.

When I was a kid, my mom used to make these brownies.  My older brother S. used to love them and always asked for them.  In fact, when he was in elementary school and his class was putting together a cookbook for Mother’s Day, he submitted this recipe.  I was not such a fan at the time as I didn’t start liking chocolate until I was post-high school I think.  But even so, they were still good.

I forgot about these for a while.  It wasn’t until a few months ago that I remembered about them and tried to make them.  I made them with a chocolate cake recipe at the time, and I put waaay too much mint extract in the frosting, and yet, our dinner guests loved them – Rocker Dude didn’t.  He doesn’t like strong mint flavors.

This weekend, our friends M. and A. were having a big party and they asked us to bring something.  I volunteered to make dessert (yeah, that was obvious), and after thinking about it for a while, I decided to try this again.  Instead of making the base out of chocolate cake, I decided to use brownies.  I used the only brownie recipe that has ever come out well for me – actually my first post on this blog.

The beginning of the icing.

I have also had trouble in the past with buttercreams separating on me, especially in the heat.  When I asked for suggestions, my friend A. said that she had the same problem until she started creaming the heck out of the margarine before adding the powdered sugar.  So I tried that this time.  I used a recipe from The Perfect Cake, and tinted the icing green.  After worrying and hoping and lots of crossed fingers, the icing came out perfectly.  Yay!

Tinted and ready to go.

All that was left was the ganache topping.  my mom always just melted chocolate chips and spread them over the icing, but then when it hardened, it was, well, hard, and difficult to cut through.  So my modification here is to use ganache.  That way it would firm up nicely with a nice shine, but not impede any cutting activity.  I had some leftover ganache in the refrigerator from this recipe, so I heated it up and added a bit more chocolate so that there would be enough to cover the whole cake.

Brownies iced.

I ended up doubling the brownie recipe because there were going to be so many people at M. and A.’s and still baked in a 9×13 inch pan.  In retrospect, a single recipe for that pan would have been enough and then the thin layer of icing wouldn’t have looked so pathetic on such a high cake.  Also it took forever to cook the brownies, so next time, make it in two pans.  I also only used half a recipe of icing because I only had two cups of powdered sugar.  It actually turned out to be just enough.  Whew!

I would advise making this cake over two days to let the cake cool before icing it, and let the icing firm up (you can even freeze it if you have room) before putting on the ganache.

The final product.

The cake went over really well, I only ended up having a tiny piece, the one I photographed, and Rocker Dude didn’t have any, though I think that was more because he was afraid of the mint, though he told me that it was because he had eaten too much meat.  Sure.

Recipe:

The brownie recipe can be found here.

Let the brownies cool completely before putting on the icing.

Icing (this is half a recipe, if you want a thicker layer, use a full recipe):

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup margarine, softened

1/4 tsp. mint extract

2-3 tbsp. soymilk

a few drops of green food coloring

Beat the margarine really well, until it is really creamy.  Add the powdered sugar slowly and beat until well incorporated.  Add the mint extract and the food coloring.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Continue mixing and add the soymilk 1 tbsp. at a time until you get a nice consistency that you can spread easily.

Spread the icing in a single layer on top of the brownies.  Put the brownies in the freezer while you make the ganache.

Ganache:

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup chocolate chips

Heat the cream over a medium flame until it starts bubbling around the edges.  Pour over the chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute.  Mix the chocolate until you have  a thick chocolatey mixture.  Spread over the icing and return the brownies to the freezer or refrigerator.

Bring to room temperature before serving.  Or, eat frozen for a minty treat.