Peppermint-Swirl Brownies


Regular readers may ask whether in fact I didn’t just post a peppermint-brownie recipe. The answer is yes, I did, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!
I don’t believe a cook can combine chocolate and peppermint too often at this time of year. And the two brownie recipes, although both good, are quite different.
This one is a holiday version of a basic cream-cheese brownie. The fudgy base is adapted from King Arthur Flour. The cream-cheese-peppermint layer might be a bit much on any other day of the year, but not on Christmas Eve.
We took them yesterday to lunch with my one of my mother’s oldest friends, Riley Yriart, and her son Juan. My mother and Riley met in France in 1937 and still like to get together whenever they can.
Riley may look a little doubtful about the brownies in the photo below, but she did seem to like them.
Jan (left) and Riley met in college. They stil enjoy each other's company--and a little good food and good wine.

Jan (left) and Riley met in college. They still enjoy each other's company--and a little good food and good wine.

for the brownie base:
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
12 ounces (2 cups) chocolate chips
for the peppermint layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 or 2 drops of red food coloring (enough to make the mixture a gentle pink–optional)
4 to 5 candy canes, crushed (the more pulverized the better)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper or foil, and grease the parchment (or foil).
Begin with the brownie base. In a 3-quart saucepan over low heat melt the butter. Add the 2 cups of sugar, and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat briefly—until hot but not bubbling. (It will become shiny looking as you stir it.)
Remove it from the heat and let it cool briefly while you assemble the other ingredients.
Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Add the eggs, beating until smooth; then stir in the flour and chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into your pan.
Next, work on the cream-cheese layer. In a small mixing bowl beat the cream cheese. Beat in the 1/2 cup sugar, egg, salt, peppermint extract, and food coloring (if you’re using it). Gently stir in the candy.
Spoon the cream cheese gently on top of the brownie batter; then use a knife to swirl it around gently.
Bake the brownies until they just start to brown on the very edges (30 to 35 minutes). Remove them from the oven.
After 5 to 10 minutes loosen the edges of the parchment paper or foil. Cool completely before cutting and serving.
Makes about 2 dozen brownies, depending on how large you cut them.
We wish you a Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

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2 Responses to “Peppermint-Swirl Brownies”

  1. Carol Ann says:

    Tinky, Is one of these beautiful ladies your Mother ?
    They are both adorable !!!
    Thanks for BOTH brownie recipes !– NEVER too many !

  2. tinkyweisblat says:

    Yes, Carol Ann, my mother Jan is on the left in the shot with the two of them and also in the photo of me (wearing the Santa hat). They are indeed both adorable–and also feisty!