Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Double-Chocolate Mint Brownies

As a girl, I loved mint so much that I tried to tint all my baking green. When green cookies and green cakes failed to garner applause, my frostings began glowing like radioactive limes that tasted like toothpaste. While I still occasionally color frosting green, these Double-Chocolate Mint Brownies dont need it. They’re exactly perfect as they are. 

This recipe is not my own, but giving credit is difficult. For one thing, the recipe directs the home cook to use a specific brand of chocolate chips and margarine and flour. Pshaw! (I’ve wanted to use that word my whole life and you, Dollinks, are bearing witness) I will not run off on the tangent of why it is silly to use these particular brands, but will say that a lot of substituting occurs in cooking. As long as you buy quality ingredients (no matter which brand), you’re off to a very good start in achieving success.

My problem in giving credit for this recipes comes in not knowing where credit is due. Not only has the manufacturer behind the margarine brand changed several times, but the brand touted in the original recipe has disappeared, replaced by another. The chocolate chips remain well known, but - with apologies to Shakespeare - a chocolate chip by any other name would taste as sweet. 

And the baking powder? The brand is popular and the manufacturer stellar, but baking powder is a chemical compound made to a specific formula. As long as it’s fresh and “double-acting” (responding to the oven’s heat as well as the liquid in the recipe), any quality brand should work just fine. So that is a very long way of explaining why giving a short credit is sometimes tough. 

Besides, I don’t have a clue where I got the recipe and … Oh, heck, the chips are Hersheys, the baking powder’s from Kraft Foods, and the margarine comes from ConAgra! As to who originally wrote this recipe, I don’t know. But it wasn’t me.

Double-Chocolate Mint Brownies:

2 c. (12 oz. or 350 g package) semi-sweet chocolate mint-flavored chips, divided
½ c. brick-style margarine
½ c. granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
¾ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Grease 9x9-in. baking pan. Melt 1 c. chocolate mint-flavored chips and margarine in heat-proof metal bowl over hot water. Stir until fully melted and remove from heat. Gradually beat in sugar, beating in eggs one at a time. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into chocolate batter with walnuts. Spoon and smooth into pan, spreading with remaining chocolate mint-flavored chips. Bake 25 min. Brownies are ready when toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares.

Tomorrow: No oven needed here! You’ll love these Saucepan Butterscotch Brownies.

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