At work this week, we’ve had “Five Days of Cheer” to get into the holiday spirit. In addition to the candy cane hunts, Christmas movie trivia and ugly sweater day, we also had a Mrs. Claus baking contest. Of course this was the event I was most excited about, so I couldn’t wait to get baking! I decided to make these peppermint mocha brownies since I wanted to bring something festive. It paid off because they won for best presentation!
They don’t just look great, they also taste amazing! It’s the perfect ratio of chocolate, coffee and peppermint (heavy on the chocolate). The fudge-like center and cracking crust make for an ideal texture, too. I also like the bit of crunch that the crushed candy canes add. This recipe has made it on my must-bake list for the holidays!
Peppermint Mocha Brownies
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup AP flour
- 2 tsp. instant espresso powder/crystals, divided
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs + 1 yolk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
- 3 oz. dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
- 5 candy canes, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper, then lightly coat with cooking spray.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips, baking chocolate and butter. Microwave for 1 minute on high, then stir. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds, then stir again. Repeat process of 30-second intervals until fully melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, 1 1/2 tsp. espresso powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat sugar and eggs on medium speed, until smooth and pale yellow (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla, peppermint extract and chocolate mixture, mix until combined. Gradually stir in dry ingredients, until fully incorporated.
- Pour into prepared baking pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (I err on the side of under-baked because I love them fudgy!). Cool completely in pan. Once cool, remove from pan and cut into squares.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, place dark chocolate and 1/2 tsp. espresso powder. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue microwaving at 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle onto brownies. Top with crushed candy cane. Drizzle any leftover chocolate over the candy cane layer. Let it set before serving.