The Postman Always Rings Twice … IF YOU GIVE HIM BROWNIES!


I LOVE having an excuse to bake. This time of year I have many reasons to turn on the oven. Yesterday’s was creating a holiday gift for my mother’s New Jersey mail carrier, Colin.
My mother and I are nomadic. We travel from our house in Massachusetts to her house in New Jersey to my brother’s house in Virginia and then back again to New Jersey and so forth.
Fortunately for us, the Post Office almost always finds us. Our carrier in Massachusetts, Lisa, and our carrier in New Jersey, Colin, put up with our comings and goings and keep track of our mail for us. So do the clerks and postmasters in their offices.
We always like to give them a special thank you in December—not just money, but something that represents OUR time the way the help they give us represents THEIR time.
We all like Colin, but our dog Truffle carries her affection for him to extremes. If left to her own devices, Truffle would hop into Colin’s truck and never look back at us. I could tell from the look in her eyes that she felt he deserved something extra special this year.
So I tried baking a treat that had intrigued me in a variety of books and blogs—brownies with mint candy inside.
Basically, this involves making brownie batter and dividing it in half. The first half goes into the pan and is covered with a thin layer of mints. The second half of the batter goes on top.
I decided to use Andes mints, which are very thin. I didn’t want my mint layer to overwhelm the brownies!
I was torn between two different flavors—the traditional chocolate-surrounded “crème de menthe” variety and the seasonal non-chocolate “peppermint crunch.” I settled for using some of each; I put crème de menthe on one half of the brownies and peppermint crunch on the other half.
Naturally, I had to try both kinds before passing the brownies on to Colin!
I might SLIGHTLY prefer the peppermint crunch—after all, brownies already have chocolate in them—but if you are a chocolate lover you may disagree. In any case, both flavors were delicious.
I also threw a little icing on the top of the brownies (with a few sprinkles) to make them extra festive for Christmas. This layer is optional but fun.
Colin looked happy to see them.

Colin takes our comings and goings--and our occasional strange headgear--in stride.

Colin takes our comings and goings--and our occasional strange headgear--in stride.

Peppermint Surprise Brownies
for the brownies:
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter
3 ounces (3 squares) semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
for the filling:
2 packages (4.67 ounces each) Andes mints (you won’t need quite all of them, but you will need most of them)
for the icing:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) sweet butter at room temperature
confectioner’s sugar as needed (about 3/4 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
holiday sprinkles (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, and butter the foil.
Prepare the brownie batter: In a medium pan heat the butter and chocolate squares, stirring frequently, until the chocolate melts. Remove it from the heat.
When the chocolate/butter mixture is cool enough to stick your finger into it (this won’t take long) stir in the eggs, followed by the flour and then the vanilla.
Pour half of this batter into the prepared pan. Lay the mints (unwrapped, obviously) on top of the batter as lightly as you can, covering as much of the batter as you can.
Pour the remaining batter on top (use a spatula to smooth it over the mints as needed) and bake the brownies for 25 minutes.
Allow the brownies to cool completely in their pan. Remove the foil from the pan, and gently peel the foil off of the brownies.
Next, make the frosting. Cream the butter, and add enough confectioner’s sugar to make a spreadable icing, adding the vanilla toward the end of this process.
Gently spread the icing in a thin layer over the brownies. Decorate with seasonal sprinkles if you like.
Allow the icing to harden a bit before you slice the brownies.
Makes 16 to 36 brownies, depending on how big you want to make them. (We like them little so I hope Colin does.)

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4 Responses to “The Postman Always Rings Twice … IF YOU GIVE HIM BROWNIES!”

  1. Julie says:

    How did I not know about the peppermint crunch flavored Andes candies?
    I am soooo making these! AND I’m telling my husband (who taunts me about baking for our mail carrier) about this post.

    Where iin VA is your brother? My sister lives in Leesburg.

  2. These look scrumptious! You have been Twittered! 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday season.

  3. tinkyweisblat says:

    Thank you, ladies! Julie, my brother is in Alexandria, although I have dear friends in Leesburg; what a nice place! I found the peppermint crunch Andes at Target, by the way. I think they’re only around at this time of year.

    Happy baking……..

  4. Eric says:

    AND…Andes candies are made in Delavan Wisconsin! I had a job with a janitor company during high school and cleaned the floor around the machines every weekend. Pretty much cured me of my interest in Andes (no, nothing gross, just A LOT of Andes candies), but this still sounds great.