Dec 21, 2009

Chocolate Mint Bars

Dear over-priced Fannie May Mint Meltaways, Girl Scout make-you-fat Thin Mints, and mass-produced, same-old-taste peppermint patties,

You may all have the “chocolate mint thing” down, but I have the homemade-less-calorie-yet-indulgently-amazing chocolate mint thing down, all sitting on top of a fudgy sticky brownie.

No hard feelings, but, I win.

I never thought homemade brownies could get any better than the cream cheese brownies I made awhile back. C'mon, cheesecake on top of brownies? How do you beat that? Well, with mint, my friends. There's a reason the aforementioned candies had a good run. Mint and chocolate are made for each other.

Although the three layers make these bars a touch more time consuming than Betty’s box-o-powder, they’re very easy to make. And trust me, you can definitely make time for layers. You need to make time for layers.

First up was the brownie layer, which calls for an entire can of chocolate syrup. Entire. Can. You must remain calm and resist the temptation to dip your fingers, pour even a teaspoon on your tongue, or to you serious chocolate lovers, flat out drink it straight. No, you'll want every last drop to make it into the bowl so your brownies will become the fudgy dream bars they’re meant to be.






Now, you can switch out the bottom layer with your favorite boxed mix if you’re in a hurry or prefer a more cake-like consistency. But make sure it’s not an ultra sweet brownie, because the topping is sugary enough to make even your sweet tooth ache.

After mixing the batter, I baked the brownies, let them cool, and made the buttery, sweet, minty layer. Not much more to say. It whipped up quick and glided on easy.



I made the final layer by melting together chocolate chips and butter. That's right. Isn't the photo below just a beauty? I might just stick it in my wallet. I smudged the mint layer a bit while spreading the chocolate on top, so if when you make these, keep a good amount of chocolate on your spatula until it’s covered. Oh, and the recipe suggests using dark chocolate for a "grown up taste." I couldn't find any dark chips, but I must say, they'd probably make this dessert even more addictive.




The final, hardest, most agonizing step was waiting for my creation to chill in the fridge. You really need to let it sit for a while (overnight or at least a few hours) so the layers can set and meld together. And when you do take them out, make sure you cut them right away. (As time passes, the chocolate layer hardens and it’ll crack if you try to cut it.)



They’re amazing. Very fudgy, and very sweet. So sweet, in fact, that when I tried my first one, I had to push my plate away after just a few bites. Ok, so I eventually ate the rest. But I recommend cutting them even smaller than the recipe calls for. Their rich and indulgent nature makes them the perfect little bite-sized treats. Or, just slap on your sweats, cut a huge slab and eat it in shifts. No judging here.

And because they’re minty, you can easily rationalize having one for dessert, and then another as your after dinner mint. Maybe even two if your meal contained garlic. And personally, I love them so much that if you ever stay as a guest at our place, don’t be surprised when you find a gooey chocolate mint brownie on your pillow.


Chocolate Mint Bars
Yield: 20 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

Cookbook note: The dense base layer is like a rich, fudgy brownie, so don't overcook it or the dessert bars will be dry. Refrigerating the mint bars allows the chocolaty top layer to set properly. You can make the dessert up to one day ahead. For a more grown-up taste, you can also use dark chocolate chips for some or all of the semisweet chocolate chips in the glaze.


Brownie layer:
1  cup  all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1  cup  granulated sugar
1/2  cup  egg substitute
1/4  cup  butter, melted
2  tablespoons  water
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
2  large eggs, beaten
1  (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup
Cooking spray
Mint layer:
2  cups  powdered sugar
1/4  cup  butter, melted
2  tablespoons  fat-free milk
1/2  teaspoon  peppermint extract
2  drops green food coloring
3/4  cup  semisweet chocolate chips
3  tablespoons  butter

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare bottom layer, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt; stir with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, egg substitute, 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons water, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate syrup in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare mint layer, combine powdered sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and next 3 ingredients (through food coloring) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread mint mixture over cooled cake.

To prepare the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 20 pieces.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 264 (30% from fat), Fat: 8.7g (sat 5.2g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.4g), Protein: 2.8g, Carbohydrate: 45g, Fiber: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Iron: 0.9mg, Sodium:139mg, Calcium: 12mg.

Source: Cooking Light, March 2008


Rachel Cotterill said...

I don't think we even have chocolate syrup over here, but that's okay, I have a killer brownie recipe already. A mint layer, though? That I don't have.

Leesie said...

Yum 2 of my fave things in life mint and chocolate. I am definitely going to try this one.

Life with Kaishon said...

These look so wonderful! Even though I have not had my breakfast yet, I could totally go for one of these right this second : ) YUM!

Rachel said...

You should ALL try them! You won't be sorry!

Sara C. Walk said...

yum these look amazing!!!

Crystal said...

OMG, I have to try these. :)

Anonymous said...

It's official. I have a full-blown girl crush on you. These were amazing! I made them for Mother's day for my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law and scored some major deliciousness points. This is becoming my go-to site for health(ier!) recipes.

Anonymous said...

I love you chocolate mint bars

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