Andes Peppermint Brownies

Happy National Brownie Day! There's a day for everything now, isn't there? National brownie day is definitely a day I can get behind though! For this recipe I wanted to do something Christmas-y, but also a recipe you can make all year long! I love candy canes and peppermint for the holiday's, but no one wants to bite into a candy cane- and then I remembered Andes peppermints! So yummy! This recipe has Andes baked into the brownie mix and topped with ganache- and if you want to get crazy, you can even add more Andes on top. That's what I'm talking about! 

This recipe is so easy to make and gives you a rich, fudgey brownie- which I love! This ridiculously rich mixture is the perfect pair to the refreshing, peppermint flavor. Perfect for a holiday party or in addition to classic christmas cookies!

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Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used a Baker's square)

2 large eggs

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon brewed coffee (cold coffee is okay)

Pinch of salt

3/4 cup all-purpose flour (add 2 tbsp more for high altitude)

1 4.6 oz package of Andes mints, unwrapped and diced into thirds

Ganache Topping

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 4.6 oz package of Andes mints, unwrapped and chopped (optional)

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8X8 inch pan with aluminum foil leaving an overhang, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

2) In a large microwave safe bowl, add the butter and chocolate. Microwave for 1 minute and stir. Heat in 15 second increments, stirring as you go, until fully melted (It took me 45 more seconds). Allow mixture to cool before adding the eggs! (No one wants scrambled eggs in their brownies!)

3) After allowing chocolate mixture to cool, add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, coffee and salt and whisk vigorously to combine.

4) Add the flour and stir until smooth, but do not over mix.

5) Check the temperature of the batter. If it is too warm, allow it to cool, or else your Andes will melt! Once cool, fold the Andes into the batter until combined using a spatula. Do not overwork the batter or Andes will melt. 

6) Add the batter into the prepared pan and smooth top.

7) Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until center is set. (If inserting a toothpick, make sure there is no batter, but could be hard to tell with the melted Andes!) Allow brownies to cool in pan.

8) Ganache Topping: Coarsely chop semi-sweet chocolate and add to a bowl. Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat and pour over chopped chocolate. Do not stir. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk until combined. Let ganache cool to room temperature (about 45 minutes) stirring often. Spread over brownies.

9) Top with chopped Andes Mints (optional, but delicious). 

Enjoy!

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