Robin, Nov 23 09, in post Lo-text hi-cal Monday
1 pan’s worth of your favourite brownie recipe.†† Don’t use nuts, and do use a few drops of good peppermint oil. †††
Mint icing: 1 ½ c icing sugar
6 T soft slightly salted butter
Handful of crushable peppermint candy. Which you duly whack to crumbs with your rolling pin. The availability of crushable peppermint candy varies, I find, especially if you’re a nut case like me and want it organic and no weird dyes. I’ve had excellent results using sugar cubes and a few more drops of peppermint oil. Mix in a bowl and let sit while you make the brownies. Then when you’re ready to put the icing together, smash the cubes. You want it a little lumpy. Don’t put it in the blender.
Do the usual smushed-together icing thing with the confectioner’s sugar and the butter, and then when it’s all nice and smooth stir in the almost-crushed candy.
Spread on your pan of (cold) brownies. Put it in the refrigerator for the icing to set and melt about half a bar (50g) of Green & Black’s dark chocolate (or equivalent) and drizzle it over. You can melt a little butter in with the chocolate to make it smoother if you like.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling seriously in the need of cheering up, make the icing with 1 c sugar and 4 t butter, and then just barely melt an entire bar of G&B’s mint chocolate. Now their mint chocolate is dark chocolate with drooly mint centres. So this takes a little agility. My most successful attempt(s) involve using a biggish pan with a heavy flat bottom and breaking up the chocolate into its individual squares, warming it gently, while standing over it like an alchemist expecting gold, and the MOMENT it starts to go soft and lose its shape, whip it over to your brownies, dump it out, and rub it around with a knife. ‡ You want a nice swirl of icing, chocolate, and runny mint. Note: even if the result looks a little funny, it’ll still taste great. Supposing you wanted mint brownies in the first place, which I assume you did, if you’ve got this far.
†† I can recommend ‘gooey brownies’ already on Playing with Your Food
††† Be sure you get food quality. I believe a good aromatherapy peppermint is also edible, but check. Also peppermint oil varies in strength and flavour quite a lot, so you’ll have to experiment. But be careful—generally speaking a little bit goes a long way.
‡ I almost forgot. If you rub the tiniest smidgen of butter over the bottom of your pan first–just enough to slick the way for the chocolate–you raise your chances of success considerably.