Before the holiday season is officially over I figured I would squeeze in at least one Christmas recipe. I’ve made these Peppermint Wonders before, they’re officially called Mrs. Claus’ Peppermint Wonders which I think is pretty cute. They’re supposed to be more like brownies but mine always come out with more of a fudge-y quality.
The recipe includes chopped walnuts as well but I think the crushed candy canes give it enough texture that I often leave them out. Had I actually read the recipe the whole way through before starting I would have figured this out but I ended up putting too much chocolate in the brownies, which is why they’re so moist and rich, though I really don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Instead of putting the 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips on the top of the brownies I added them to the batter. If you do it this way the batter will come out uncooked even after the 35 minutes, I just left them in for another five and then put them in the fridge over night so they would harden up. Then just let them sit and reach room temperature before icing and serving them. And they are incredibly rich so you only need little squares, which makes the recipe perfect for a big holiday party.
Recipe from Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: http://www.guideposts.org/recipes/dessert-recipes-peppermint-wonders
¾ cup chopped walnuts
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 large candy canes, crushed into pieces
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. To make the Brownies: Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil, allowing extra to hang over the sides.
3. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
4. In a double boiler over barely simmering water or in a metal bowl over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of hot water (Creating your own double boiler), melt the butter and chocolates together, stirring often. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
5. Stir in the granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt until well blended. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour until well blended. Stir in the walnuts.
6. Spread in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. The top should be puffy and shiny and cracked. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 1 hour.
7. Lift the contents from the pan using the foil and invert onto a plate. Carefully remove the foil and turn the cake right-side up. Cool.
8. To make the Frosting: In a medium bowl, blend the powdered sugar, butter, and milk until creamy.
9. Spread the brownies with the frosting, then sprinkle with peppermint pieces and chocolate chips. Chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cut into 20 small squares.
Makes 20 small brownies