|nutritional information (per serving)|
View full nutritional information
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|amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Saturated Fat 13g||64%|
|dietary fiber 1g||5%|
|Total sugar 29g|
|Vitamin C 0 mg||0%|
|Calcium 39 mg||3%|
|iron 3 mg||16%|
|Potassium 72 mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.|
(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
Chocolate and peppermint are a match made in heaven—no doubt about that. And when the chocolate comes in the form of a fudgy brownie and the peppermint comes in the form of a delicious, creamy (pink!) cream cheese strudel, so much the better.
How to get the perfect fudgy brownie
Here's an easy cocoa-based brownie made with melted butter—for both ease of use and flavor. Sometimes brownies call for a mix of oil and butter, but in this case, plain butter is just perfect for keeping the recipe's ingredient list short and prep time short. Additionally, the melted butter (and relatively small amount of flour, as well as the lack of a leaven) make these brownies moist rather than cakey, which is exactly what I was looking for.
Cocoa powder vs. melted chocolate
And I chose to only use cocoa powder here and not a mixture of melted chocolate and powder for the same reasons I mentioned above (I love short ingredient lists and the ease of preparation!) – and because I've found that while testing the recipes It's pure cocoa powder brownie was a little firmer than one with melted chocolate—and that texture works well when tossed.
Peppermint extract and candy provide a tingling feeling
Finally the peppermint layer! I wanted it to be beautiful to look at and have a vibrant minty flavor on top of that, and I've found that a pink tinted cream cheese strudel is the perfect vehicle to make all my swirly dreams come true. The strudel has an almost cheesecake-like texture and its subtle flavor contrasts beautifully with the sweet brownie underneath. Additionally, the extract in the swirl and in the brownies themselves really gives you that minty feel you could ever want.
But as if that wasn't enough, I just had to gild the lily by tossing some crushed candy canes into the brownies themselves and also on top about 5 minutes before removing them from the oven. In the brownies, they add flavor and both flavor and a wonderfully crunchy texture. The brownies are quite soft and the candy sprinkled top is a nice contrast.
Oh, and I love those cold, refreshing treats. Yes, they're perfect for winter holidays, but they're also just perfect for when the cravings hit (which, if you're like me, often is!).
“For a winter holiday twist on the classic chocolate treat, try this peppermint-filled treat. Be careful when making the swirls so you end up with the prettiest brownies you've ever seen.” —Noah Vellush-Rogers
For the peppermint strudel:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
8th ounces cream cheeseroom temperature
1/3 Cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea-salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 3 drops liquid or yellow food coloring
For the brownies:
4 oz (1/2 Cup) unsalted buttermelted
2/3 cup (53 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 large eggsroom temperature
1/4 teaspoon fine Salt
2/3 cup (87 grams) all purpose flour
2/3 Cup crushed Peppermintssuch as B. Star Brite mints or candy canes, shared
Gather the ingredients.
Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan with softened butter. Line the bottom with a large sheet of parchment paper reaching up and across two opposite sides of the pan.
To prepare the peppermint strudel, place cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt, egg, extract, and food coloring in a medium bowl and, using a hand mixer, beat on medium-medium speed until fluffy. You can also use a stand mixer.
To prepare the brownies, heat the butter, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large microwave-safe bowl in 30-second batches on high, stirring at a time until well combined. The dough will be quite thick and look fiddly. If you don't have a microwave, place the ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water on the stovetop until combined.
Stir in the extract. Gently stir in the eggs one at a time.
Sprinkle the salt over the wet ingredients and stir in.
Finally, fold in the flour and 1/3 cup of the crushed candies until the last strip of flour disappears. Don't mix too much.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, reserving 3/4 cup.
Pour the batter mixture over the brownie batter in the pan – about 9 dollops, using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop if you have one.
Place the reserved brownie batter between the strudel balls. Insert a long wooden skewer through the brownie batter and pink cream cheese mixture until the top is completely covered with decorative swirls. Don't twirl too much: Big twirls are what you want, since they're the most dramatic. And don't swirl too deeply, otherwise the swirl will be lost in the dough.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway. After 25 minutes, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup of candy over the brownies. The brownies are done when a cake tester inserted into the brownie (not the strudel) comes out with a few moist crumbs – don't over bake.
Leave to cool to room temperature. Use the parchment handles to lift the brownies out of the pan. Run a butter knife around the edges not covered by the paper when you feel resistance. Cut into 9 equal squares and serve at room temperature or refrigerate for an hour and serve chilled (my preference).
- You can also mix the blended ingredients by hand if you don't want to drag out your handheld or stand mixer, but the extra fluffiness the mixers offer makes whisking and blending a little easier. This results in more dramatic-looking swirls
- To avoid over-mixing the batter, stop mixing in the flour when the last strip of it is just gone.
- If you forgot to leave your cream cheese on the counter to bring it to room temperature, remove it from its foil wrapper, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 30-second increments Microwave, stirring after each step, until tender.
- When whisking together the brownie batter and pink minty cream cheese mixture, don't stretch your wooden skewer to the bottom of the pan, just insert it deep enough to stir the brownie and cream cheese dollops together. And make big strudels with the skewer for the prettiest brownies.
- There's a lot of extract in these brownies, but I promise it's not overwhelming. However, if you want a less minty flavor, turn it down.
Mix up to 24 hours ahead of time, but bring to room temperature before using.
For different but equally gorgeous swirls, omit the red food coloring.
How to store or freeze it
Store the brownies, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze them in a ziplock plastic bag for up to a month.