I know I had a head start on Christmas baking, but now the season can officially start! I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving (or Thursday if you're not from the US!) and didn't eat too much.
Did any of you actually head out shopping last night? I'm still not sure how I feel about the stores opening on Thanksgiving day...I feel bad for the people that have to work, but for the shoppers, it's probably better to shop at 10 at night than 3 in the morning. At least in my opinion. I've never been a huge Black Friday shopper, but I usually go at about 10 am after everything settles down. I'm never in the market for the doorbusters anyway. Although this year I could use a new SD card for my camera. The one I'm using now currently has an 89-picture capacity. I know. Harsh.
Today is actually my 27th birthday. Wow. That blows me away. I'm really creeping up on 30 now. Until I decide what my birthday cake is going to be, I'll be eating these. Officially, these are for my cousin Mari's birthday. I lived in her house with her and her hubby my last year of undergrad and she remembers my brownies. These are not exactly the ones she remembers, but I hope they're acceptable! Happy belated, Mari...
I always scoff at those recipes that use an 8x8 pan and supposedly yield 16 brownies. Not at my house! But these are pretty decadent and can actually be that small. Can be, but don't have to be! Use your best judgment. Or lack of judgment...!
Peppermint Overload Brownies
Makes about 16 small brownies
Based on Dorie's recipe
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
25 peppermint patties
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped or bittersweet chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 peppermint patties, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Liberally butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Place a small pot with about 2 inches of water in the bottom over medium heat until water simmers. In a large heat-proof bowl, place 5 tablespoons butter and bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate and place over simmering water. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
Stir in sugar. The mixture will be quite grainy, which is fine. Add eggs one at a time, stirring between each addition. Finally, stir in peppermint extract and salt. Using a very light hand, stir in the flour until just combined.
Pour about half of the batter into the baking pan. Smooth the surface with a spatula and cover the surface with about 25 peppermint patties in a single layer. Cover with the remaining batter and smooth to cover.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until top no longer is shiny and a knife inserted in the center doesn't come out with large amounts of batter on it.
Cool to room temperature in the pan.
For the ganache, place chocolate and chopped peppermint patties in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat heavy whipping cream and butter in a small pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until it steams. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Now, whisk until mixture becomes smooth, dark, and uniform in color. Some small pieces of peppermint may remain. Don't worry about those. Whisk in the peppermint extract.
Pour over brownies while still runny. If you do this while brownies are still in the pan and then refrigerate, the ganache will firm up a bit.
Cut into about 16 small brownies.
These are best served at room temperature.