Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Desserts: Mint Brownies and Peanut Butter Popcorn

Hours before Christmas dinner, I still didn’t have any desserts in mind and was in need of some serious inspiration. I needed something that was sugary enough for the kids while still palatable to the adults and thought that another trip down peppermint-chocolate lane would be a good idea since my candycane cookies were so popular before (see previous post). So mint brownies it was!

A brief search on the omniscient allrecipes produced a recipe with an aesthetically pleasing photo of brownies with mint frosting (Yes, I judge recipes based on their photos. Books should have nice covers). Some reviewers of the recipe said that the brownie itself wasn’t very good so I picked out another recipe for plain old brownies. I had to change the measurements a bit for both recipes as I was only planning on making a 9X9” pan’s worth since there were going to be other desserts. I set the timer for the original baking time and planned that I would just take them out early since I was making a smaller amount…but then I got distracted. So they were a little overbaked but my sister and cousin both said that it wasn’t noticeable as anything with chocolate = good. My aunt also commented that they weren’t overly sweet so I guess I was successful at that!
These turned out great and were super quick to make, especially since some of the prep time (chilling in the fridge) was done while we were enjoying our turkey :).
To add to the dessert fare, I also made some peanut butter marshmallow coated popcorn as directed by this recipe, which was sticky and wonderful (and thoroughly welcomed by my other cousin, who apparently doesn’t like mint).
Mint Brownies:
Yield: 48
  • 1 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
Mint frosting and chocolate coating:
  • 1 and 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar (a.k.a. Icing sugar)
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • A few drops green food colouring
  • 2 tablespoons water (may be more or less, use as needed to attain correct consistency)
  • 1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons butter (separate)
  1. Preset oven to 350F
  2. Mix flour, sugar, oil, cocoa, eggs, salt and vanilla until smooth
  3. Pour into a greased 9x9” pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre
  4. Allow to cool in pan completely
  5. Cream a few drops of green food colouring, 1/3 cup butter, mint extract and icing sugar. Add water until a frosting consistency is formed and spread onto cooled brownie
  6. Melt remaining butter with chocolate chips in the microwave (30 sec should be enough)
  7. Allow to cool a bit and spread overtop mint frosting
  8. Chill in the fridge until chocolate is set
Per brownie:
104 calories | 4.7g sugar | 5.9g fat
Peanut Butter Popcorn
Yield: 20-ish servings or 1 cookie sheet full
  • 1 bag popped plain microwave popcorn
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 10 large marshmallows
  • 1/4 margarine (I used the ‘light’ kind)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Pop popcorn as directed
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl (except chocolate chips) and microwave until marshmallows are melted (~45 sec).
  3. Stir and slowly add in popcorn, mix until evenly coated
  4. Pour onto baking sheet covered in wax paper
  5. Place chocolate chips into small ziploc bag and microwave until melted (~30sec)
  6. Snip off corner of bag and drizzle chocolate onto popcorn
  7. Allow to set and serve
Per 1/20 of recipe:
67 calories | 5.6g sugar | 2.6g fat

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