After finishing up my holiday shopping today, addressing most of my Christmas cards, and wrapping several presents, I was finally truly feeling the Christmas spirit! It has taken a while this year, for some reason. Oh, and we're supposed to get a LOT of snow tonight too, so I think that helps! Anyway, I wanted to bake something rather festive, so I chose Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies. They turned out quite well! I'd highly recommend them for the holiday season...or, for any time of the year really!! I was actually thinking it'd be fun to make these almost the same but change them slightly to be Grasshopper Brownies. To do that, perhaps I would use Andes Mint Candies and green food coloring to make a mint green colored frosting. Mmmm, I can see and taste it already!
Anyway, on to the recipe... I started out by following this recipe: Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies, although I used a different recipe for the actual brownie. I did not alter the frosting or chocolate glaze from the original recipe. For the brownie base layer, I used one of my favorite "from scratch" brownie recipes from Nestle: Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies. One point of note though about using this particular brownie recipe for the candy cane brownies...I did NOT use nuts, and instead, I substituted a 1/2 - 3/4 cup of Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips. Otherwise, the Nestle brownie recipe remains the same. It is SO easy and yummy. I've made this recipe several times with many variations. It can be made in just one pan on the stove and it calls for typical ingredients you have on hand too...it's always good to have a trusty brownie recipe that you can make in a flash! :)
Here is a picture of the brownie recipe as I am mixing in the final ingredient of the peppermint baking chips and then a picture of the brownies once completely baked.
After baking the brownies, let them cool completely before moving on to the frosting. I have to say that this mint frosting is DEEEElicious. I couldn't help but try it as I made it. So minty and sweet! I followed the recipe almost exactly...you know me, I always have to switch something up! This time I added one additional liquid to those already included in the recipe. I added a teaspoon or two of a peppermint mocha flavored coffee creamer. I am not sure if this truly added to the minty flavor of the frosting or not, but it was a fun addition nonetheless. :)
Once I made the frosting (such a pretty pink color!), I spread it evenly over the cooled brownies and then popped the brownies in the fridge so that the frosting would cool. This made the next step of adding the chocolate glaze to the top of the brownies much easier.
The glaze itself couldn't have been easier. It's two simple ingredients of chocolate chips and butter zapped in the microwave. Piece of cake!
It is important to work quickly when you do the glaze since it is warm and it will harden a bit when it meets the cooled frosting. The last step is just decorating the top with crushed candy canes. I actually used more of the Andes peppermint baking chips though since I didn't have candy canes on hand (shocker that I don't since it is the Christmas season!!). I also added some peppermint sugar crystals, pictured here.
All in all, this was a simple recipe despite the fact that there were a few stages involved. I'd most definitely recommend trying it! I mean, take a look at this picture...who wouldn't want to eat this brownie?!?