Peppermint Brownies

In honor of the chocolate-mint combo that 99% of people seem to adore, I made these brownies.  Even though they would never be my first choice dessert, I knew “normal” people would enjoy them, particularly at the holidays.  The pretty red and white chopped Candy Cane Kisses melted on top dress up regular ol’ brownies and make them cute and festive for the season.  The good news for me is that the mint flavor is not overpowering at all.  These are still first and foremost a moist, fudgy brownie, and the peppermint flavor is more of an afterthought.  Ben and I thought the balance was just right, but if you want more of a mint kick then double the peppermint extract in the recipe.  Speaking of the recipe, I now know it by heart after making 8(!) batches for holiday baking.  But really it was just 4 batches – I don’t consider an 8×8-inch pan of brownies to be a full batch, no siree!  A 9×13-inch pan is more like it.  And I don’t think your friends, family, neighbors or coworkers will be disappointed you made some extras 🙂

Side note – today’s holiday giveaway is a copy of one of my very favorite cookbooks, The New Best Recipe.  See the Facebook page to enter.  Details will be posted before 7 am.  Good luck!

Peppermint Brownies
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Yield: 1 9×13-inch pan (about 36 brownies)
8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ cups unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1½ tsp. peppermint extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 (1.55 oz) milk chocolate bars, broken into segments
1 bag Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, wrappers removed and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water; heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chocolate mixture with the sugar and eggs until well blended.  Whisk in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and the salt.  Whisk in the flour just until incorporated.

Spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan.  Layer with the milk chocolate pieces.  Spread the remaining batter evenly over the milk chocolate pieces.  Bake 30-35 minutes.

Remove the brownies from the oven but maintain the oven temperature.  Sprinkle the chopped Candy Cane Kisses over the top of the brownies and return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.  Chill the brownies until the candy topping has firmed up.  Slice and serve.

Source: slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction

41 Responses

  1. Wow 8 batches is a lot! Then again, they’re brownies so I’m sure they’re well-received. Mint and chocolate is a killer combination!

  2. Like everyone else we adore chocolate peppermint – especially this time of year – but are glad to hear these fabulous looking things aren’t too peppermint-y – we always want more chocolate flavor!

  3. Thank you for this from someone who adores mint! I didn’t even know they made candy cane kisses.

  4. Mmm! Wish I had the kisses to make a batch today!! I made peppermint bark last night but my husband doesn’t like white chocolate so these will be perfect for him.

  5. i like chocolate and mint but i didn’t realize how popular the combo was until i saw it on so many blogs lately! as long as you prioritize the brownie texture and flavor, though, i am happy!

  6. Mmmmm I LOVE any variation of brownie! I’m going to make this now. Drool.

  7. I’m definitely one of the 99%! I love love LOVE brownies (I used to eat half a batch at a time. Yes, I was quite the chunky monkey), but I’ve never thought to add minty flavor to it. I always stick with the nuts, peanut butter, or cream cheese. I’ve never seen peppermint kisses… but the second I find them, I’m making these!!!


  8. Have you ever seen those Andes peppermint crunch baking chips? They look like the chopped up candy cane Kisses, so at first I thought that’s what you used. I have like 20 bags of them (I bought them in bulk on clearance after last Christmas and went a little overboard!) so I’m going to use one or two on brownies! Thanks for the great idea! I don’t know why I never thought of it since I have been using them on top of dark chocolate fudge. They’re also really good mixed into dark chocolate cookie dough–makes them taste like Girl Scouts thin mints but so much prettier.

  9. These look delicious and I am definitely a part of the 99% lovers of mint-chocolate group. Thanks for sharing!

  10. these brownies look fantastic! i do enjoy the chocolate and mint combo, but i am not CRAZY about it like some people are!

  11. I did to just made a Devil’s chocolate cake with candy cane frosting. It is indicative of the holidays, everyone seems to like this combination. I bet the brownies are another yummy one with the chocolate peppermint kisses 🙂

  12. i think mint and chocolate work well together, but i am not totally crazy over them. The brownies look beautiful. I love the bright red and white against the dark brown!

  13. now here is the real question…how do you keep the top surface of the brownies from separating or falling off when you cut them apart? I bake brownies a lot for my family, but never for others because I can’t mke them “pretty enough” when I try and cut them apart. Love the holiday baking inspiration!

    • I’ve never had that problem so I’m not sure how to avoid it. My guess is it has more to do with the particular recipe you use than anything else.

    • I have had this problem, and I’ve found a few tricks that help (most of the time; there’s always a stubborn batch here and there). First of all, cut the brownies when they are *completely* cooled in the pan. Second, a sharp, non-serrated knife (like a big chopping knife) or a pie server seem to help with keeping the top layer from crumbling because you can cut larger sections at a time and it doesnt tear the top up as much. Also, I have read in a few places that over-beating the brownie mixture sometimes causes this problem. Something to do with too much air getting in, then rising and falling too quickly once baked. Stir just enough to mix the ingredients. This does seem to help quite a bit and makes the top surface smoother and easier to cut. Hope this is helpful, happy holidays!

  14. Any brownie is a good brownie to me! I’ve just discovered recently that I adore chocolate and peppermint together. I had no idea there were candy cane kisses. My kids will love these!

  15. Yummy! So festive!

  16. As someone who adores mint and tries to sneak it in wherever possible, these brownies look like heaven. I can also appreciate subtlety, in that the brownies are just that, brownies, with just a slight hint of mint. Even without the kisses on top, these brownies look like winners, even when the holidays are over!

  17. These look delicious! And gorgeous, as usual 🙂

  18. Oh Annie, these are so fun and festive! They look absolutely delicious, and there’s nothing better to compliment a chocoately, rich brownie than the light flavor of peppermint. Brilliant! Happy holidays to you and your family. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  19. annie, these look fantastic & i just may have to bake them for an upcoming cookie exchange this weekend. quick ? for you: do i have to get a big block of unsweetened chocolate or can i use baker’s chocolate squares? i haven’t the slightest idea on where to find a block o’ chocolate, so it’s really more about convenience for me. or can i sub w/ unsweetened cocoa powder? thanks so much!

    • Robin, of course you can use the Baker’s chocolate squares! Unsweetened chocolate is unsweetened chocolate. Ghirardelli also sells it in bars. I’m sure there is probably somewhere that you can buy a big block of unsweetened chocolate, but I don’t know of it.

  20. Annie H: I’ve read that cutting with a plastic knife helps with the crumbling top issue. Another idea since this recipe calls for a foil lined pan: chill them according to the directions above, lift them out and use a long butchers knife or bread knife to make straight cuts down instead of sawing across with a smaller knife. Hope that helps!

  21. Be still my heart. Are my finals done yet?? Not quite. But let’s be honest, I made 2 batches of ice cream today instead of studying.. so.. I think we know where my priorities are.

  22. I love the stripped kisses on top!! Fabulous, festive brownies!

  23. Lovely photo and recipe!

  24. They look so, so pretty!

  25. I love brownies but I am unsure of the peppermint.. but I am going to try these anyway.

  26. You are so very talented! I didn’t even know there were candy cane kisses out now. Thank you as always for sharing!

  27. Beautiful! My kids are crazy for candy canes and they would love these. Do you think it would work using semi-sweet chocolate chips rather than unsweetened baker’s chocolate, if I reduce the sugar a little?

    • I personally tend not to alter baking recipes in that sort of way, because you will likely affect the consistency of the batter and the end product. You can certainly try it, but the result may be less than great.

  28. Hi!

    I made these today and they were DELISH…. but they were VERY underdone in the middle… looking back over the recipe, I don’t think I missed anything… any idea what it may have been?? (Still a very delicious-gooey mess!!)

    • Ovens vary so yours may need to bake a bit longer. Also, as with any brownie, they need to be completely cooled (I chill them) before cutting.

  29. I know this may be a silly question but is mint extract the same thing as peppermint extract? I could only find mint extract.

  30. Wow, peppermint and brownies. Thats a match made in heaven.

  31. I made these for church, yesterday, and they were delicious. A bit too pepperminty for me, but they disappeared quickly:-) I thought the brownie base was amazing, though, and minus the peppermint extract I think I may have finally found a brownie recipe that I love!

  32. I made these for my office party- they are delicious & so festive!

  33. I am making these at the moment! Funny though – I couldn’t find the topping at the store, so I thought, oh well the peppermint extract will be enough mint. So I start making them and I couldn’t find the extract, so I’m making the brownies plain 🙂 I did add a tiny bit of cinnamon to give them some extra flavor. Hope they turn out as tasty as yours look. I’m planning on bringing them to a dessert exchange on Thursday.

    • Drug stores often have a really good selection of candy, so they usually have the specialty kisses and such. I have also seen them at Target.

  34. these look DELICIOUS. i am normally not a peppermint fan, but these look really good. and so festive. 🙂

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