Oh So Minty, Oh So Chocolatey Creamy Dream Bars
p. 136-137 of Wilson, Dede. A Baker’s Field Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Common Press, 2004.
3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 ozs. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. miniature semisweet morsels
Seven 1.4-ounce (2.5-inch diameter) chocolate-covered peppermint patties
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil so that it overhangs sides; you will be pulling the brownies out using this overhang. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk flour and salt together in a small bowl.
3. Melt the chocolate and the butter together in a medium-size saucepan over low heat or in a bowl in a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer medium-high speed, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Fold in cooled chocolate mixture, then fold in lour mixture and chocolate morsels.
5. Spread half of the batter into prepared pan. Place one round peppermint patty at each corner of the pan and one in the center. Cut the other two in half crosswise and place the halves in the remaining spaces. Spread remaining batter evenly on top.
6. Bake until top is puffed, dry, and beginning to crack and edges have begun to pull away from sides of pan, about 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in center should come out with some wet batter clinging. That’s okay. Place pan on rack for 5 minutes to cool. Grasp the foil overhang and carefully pull brownies from pan. Place on rack to cool completely. I like the refrigerate these for several hours before cutting to firm them up (wrap them first in plastic wrap). Cut into 16 bars (4x4).
This is a recipe I’ve been wanting to try since I saw this cookbook at the bookstore (which was years and years ago). I will need to do it again, as I had a few hiccups.
Rather than buy unsweetened chocolate, I used 3 Tbsp. cocoa and 1 Tbsp. oil to substitute for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate called for. I didn’t have miniature semisweet morsels so I used regular sized ones.
When doing the electric mixer part, I’m not sure the mixture was ever quite “fluffy” (it was raining outside so it was humid, which might have had something to do with it). Everything else seemed to go okay, though I ran into some trouble with the baking: the oven didn’t stay consistently at 400F during the baking time (it’s a gas oven and sometimes requires adjustment to stay at the proper temperature), so when I tried to take the brownies out of the pan after waiting for 5 minutes, they were still so raw in the middle that it nearly folded in half. So I put it in for longer (I forget now exactly how much more time I gave it), which made the edges quite overdone, the bottom slightly scorched and was long enough that some of the patties melted down (which is why there is no white stripe in the right-hand piece pictured). I still ate them, but I ended up tossing a lot of the edge bits after nibbling what I could off of them.
So I will have to try again, keeping a better eye on the oven temperature so they come out better. :)