Chocolate Mint Brownies

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You see these brownies everywhere from school bake sale tables to potlucks, but I like them regardless because they have a fudgy texture that’s hard to replicate. While making the buttercream icing I had the thought that these would be magic with marshmallow icing and chocolate glaze, a homey take on the Nabisco Pinwheel cookies of my youth. If you try the marshmallow, let me know how they turn out.

Mint Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh mint, chopped

Place chopped mint in a Pyrex glass measuring cup or heatproof bowl. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour boiling sugar syrup over mint and let steep 5 minutes. Pour syrup through sieve to separate mint. You should have approximately 1 1/2 cups mint syrup.

Chocolate Mint Syrup
1 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup mint syrup
1 cup hot water

Combine cocoa, sugar and salt in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in 1 cup mint syrup and 1 cup hot water until mixture is smooth. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir for three minutes longer. Remove from heat and let cool. You should have approximately 2 cups.

Brownies
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Approximately 2 cups chocolate mint syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter. Stir with a wooden spoon. Gradually add eggs, 1 at a time, then flour and salt, then the chocolate mint syrup and the vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool pan on a wire rack. When cool, top with mint frosting and chocolate glaze (below). Wrap brownies in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.

Mint Frosting
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons mint syrup

Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add mint syrup until frosting reaches desired consistency. Spread on cooled brownies.

Chocolate Glaze
3 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate (You can use bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate in the glaze, but I prefer the bitterness of unsweetened chocolate with the sweetness of the brownies.)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave or over low heat on top of the stove. Pour over frosting layer. Place brownies in the refrigerator for frosting and glaze to solidify. Serves 8 to 10 generously.

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