Peppermint Patty Bars

patty stack

Strudel Chocolate and mint is a favorite flavor combo in my house – when I can trick myself into thinking an indulgent dessert falls on the side of being a refreshing snack, it’s pretty hard to stop from plowing ahead in coming up with additional ways to get this dream team of ingredients together.

 

The New York Times just recently posted a recipe for their chocolate mint bars – aka Peppermint Patties – and while it looked pretty good, many of the commenters noted that the dessert came out way too sweet. I also wasn’t excited about a crunchy shortbread base; I wanted something a little more – if you don’t mind my saying – tender. Swapping out the base for a slightly-less-sweet thin brownie, filling the middle with sweet mint, and pouring on a solid chocolate topping created a delicious and satisfying treat.

 

 

 

There’s a few steps, but the whole recipe is actually quite easy to put together. This is a great treat to bring to a party or work event, where you want to bring a snacks for a group.

 

A few recipe notes:

  • the mint filling is strong; I like it with a thick layer (as below), but other tasters preferred the bars with a slightly thinner layer – so depending on your preferences, you may not want to use all of the filling the the recipe calls for
  • the mint filling is also pretty thick, and at first it took some encouragement to spread across the brownies. It warmed up as I worked with it, and did get easier to move around
  • for the photos in the post, I trimmed the bars so they’d look neat, tidy, and so the layers were visible. The rest of the batch isn’t quite so dainty, just FYI

 

single bar cookie

Super-Thin Chocolate Brownies

slightly adapted from The Kitchn

 

Nonstick cooking spray
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the center position. Mist an 9×13-inch pan (I used a glass pyrex baking dish) with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs the sides, then mist the parchment, too.

Cut the butter in to large chunks and put it, and the chocolate chips, in a heatproof bowl. Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave on  in 30-second intervals – stirring at each interval – until the ingredients are melted.

Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine (it will look a bit grainy). Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Gently whisk in the salt and flour until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly to the corners with an offset spatula.

Bake the brownies until the top looks light and crackly and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 18-24 minutes.

Let the brownies cool, then pop into the fridge to harden up a bit while you make the filling.

 

Peppermint Filling and Chocolate Topping

by Melissa Clark at NYT Cooking

 

3 ¼ cups (405 grams) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons peppermint extract, or to taste

 

9 ounces dark chocolate, cut into chunks

 

 

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine confectioners’ sugar, butter, cream and peppermint extract. Beat until mixture forms a thick, smooth paste. Press filling evenly over shortbread – dropping it on in portions over the brownies, then smoothing with an offset spatula, worked best for me. Chill to set the filling for at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight.

 

Use parchment paper overhang to lift the brownies and peppermint out of the baking pan, then remove parchment and slide and onto a cutting board. Cut into squares. Place squares on a rack placed over a parchment-lined sheet tray.

 

To make the chocolate topping, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring enthusiastically at each interval, until the chocolate melts.

 

Spoon 1 teaspoon chocolate on top of a cut peppermint square, using the back of the spoon to spread chocolate to the edges. Be sure to fully cover the top of the square with chocolate. (Leave the sides exposed, though it’s O.K. if some of the chocolate drips down.) Repeat with remaining squares.

 

Allow squares to set for about an hour, until the chocolate hardens. Bars store well in a sealed contain in the fridge, layered between pieces of parchment.

 

 

 

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