7 Days of Christmas Cookies: Cookie #3
Do you know what goes really well with Christmas Cookies? Christmas Stories.
Does that get you all warm and fuzzy inside? Thinking about Christmas’ past and heartwarming hugs and smiles passing between family members and cozy-jammy-wearing mornings with hot cocoa and cinnamon buns?
That’s not quite a Cushing Christmas.
Yes, we generally wear our PJ’s and look a mess until at least noon. We always, always eat Eggs Benedict and most of the time nothing gets burnt. There’s lots of gift giving and thank yous and hugs and kisses.
never sometimes usually some tears. Well two kinds of tears: First, the happy tears as in I-love-this-homemade-calendar-with-my-kids-pictures-in-it-and-it’s-the-thought-that-counts tears. The second kind is the I-hate-you-this-present-isn’t-funny-even-though-you-think-it-is tears. It ain’t Christmas until there’s some of both.
Example: The year my sister Lauren beeggggeed for a puppy. She opened up a Chia Pet Puppy from my dad. Disaster. The four of us thought it was hysterical, but Lauren immediately burst into tears, flew up the stairs, and locked herself in her room. In the middle of fun family Christmas morning. That was like, last year. 🙂
There’s plenty more stories where that came from, but you get the idea. That’s a pretty typical Cushing family Christmas.
It’s also pretty typical of us to have way too many Christmas Cookies. So in typical Cushing family fashion, here’s Cookie (Brownie) #3.
Let me start by saying these are 5 STARS. For real. These definitely make it into my yearly rotation and it’s possible that I will try to fit them into other parts of the year. Imagine the fudgiest chocolate brownie, a buttery and creamy and bright homemade peppermint, rich dark chocolate on top. Then there’s the crunch. That crunch just takes the brownie to a whole other level.
I want to eat these every day for the rest of my life. And you will too. Now go rock your world.
Peppermint Patty Brownies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup chocolate chipsPeppermint Patty Layer
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extractGanache Layer
- 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 3.5 ounces dark chocolate chopped
- 30 hard peppermint candies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking pan with butter or nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and vanilla extract, whisking until combined and almost smooth. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, stirring until a smooth batter forms. Add in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, stirring until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter prepared baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until set. Remove and let cool.
While brownies are cooling, prepare the peppermint patty layer. Add all ingredients to a bowl and beat with un electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Pour over brownies and spread in an even layer with a spoon or spatula. Place in the refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes.
To make the ganache, heat heavy cream until warm and pour it over chopped chocolate. Stir for a few minutes until totally combined, smooth and creamy. Spread over the top of the peppermint layer or cut brownies first and spoon over top.
Crush the peppermint candies in a food processor or place them in a plastic bag and beat with a meat tenderizer. Sprinkle finished brownies with crushed peppermint.