Brownies get even better when they’re paired with peppermint
Homemade dark chocolate brownies, dipped in creamy HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate and crushed peppermint, and served as bite-sized treats - Perfect for your next holiday party!
When it comes to brownies, I’m pretty particular. The perfect brownie should be dense and moist and fudgy. It should have a satisfyingly chewy texture, a shiny, crackly top and of course, be packed with rich, intense chocolate flavor.
Now it’s no small task to create this sort of transcendent brownie from scratch, and all too often you’ll find a sad plate of unfortunately bland, cakey, or greasy interpretations left forgotten on a dessert table. No, thank you.
Luckily for you, after dozens of test runs (it’s a tough gig), I’ve finally conquered the recipe for the perfect, homemade brownies of my dreams.
It begins with really good ingredients, and a double dose of chocolate. I’ve found that using both melted chocolate and cocoa powder provides multiple layers of deep chocolate flavor, which a bit of espresso and vanilla only seek to enhance. Adding brown sugar and an extra egg yolk help to create that ideal, chewy brownie texture I crave, while granulated sugar produces an unmatched crackly top. And the unexpected whole wheat flour? Extra nutrients and fiber, and you wouldn’t even know it.
Around the holidays, I like to gussy up the basic brownie recipe by adding a dash of peppermint extract, cutting the brownies into bite-sized pieces, and dipping them in melted milk or semisweet chocolate followed by a dusting of crushed peppermint candy cane “sprinkles.”
These indulgent little bites are a sweet marriage between chewy, fudgy brownies and classic holiday peppermint bark. Sweet, minty, and superbly-chocolatey; Chocolate lovers will rejoice. Oh, and you might want to make two batches; these peppermint brownie bites are fleeting at holiday parties (and have a habit of mysteriously disappearing from the fridge!). Happy baking!
Mini Peppermint Bark Brownie Bites
1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
2 oz (1/2 Bar) HERSHEY’S Unsweetened Baking Bar (100% cacao), finely chopped
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp espresso powder
1-1/4 cups pure cane sugar
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
For the Peppermint Bark Bites:
1 (12oz) bag HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 tsp pure coconut oil
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies
Double Dark Chocolate Whole Wheat Brownies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overlap on each side. Lightly butter the parchment paper and two remaining sides of the pan. Set aside.
Add the boiling water to the HERSHEY’S Cocoa in a large mixing bowl, a, and whisk until smooth and completely combined. Set aside.
Melt together the butter and chopped HERSHEY’S Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar in a large glass mixing bowl. Microwave on medium power for a minute. Stir, then heat for another minute, or as long as needed, stirring every 10 seconds, until completely smooth and shiny.
Whisk the melted chocolate into the cocoa mixture. Add the vegetable oil, vanilla and peppermint extracts, and continue whisking. Add the espresso powder and both sugars and whisk until smooth.
Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition, until the chocolate batter is completely smooth. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour and salt. Stir until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the surface with a spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a cake-tester inserted into the middle of the brownies comes out with few crumbs attached. Cool on a baking rack to room-temperature, then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
This post is part of collaboration between Hershey’s and SheKnows