This time of year everyone is thinking about the holidays, and for those of us that love food – the projects that will happen in the kitchen. The choices are endless, and I even find myself overwhelmed on what to select. I have a list of favorites, but always want to try new recipes. That is always the struggle. The other struggle is trying to find things that I can make easily, but that look and taste fantastic.
The other day I was talking to my boss about baking, and she went into her bag and pulled out her folder of holiday recipes. It was hard for me to leave her office without looking through each and every recipe – but I had to be strong – I already have too many things on my list as it is! She has some really great recipes – some were so old and used, you could tell they had weathered the test of time – with food stains that decorated the white spaces.
So in the spirit of making something new and something simple, I went ahead and tried these White Chocolate and Peppermint Brownies that were park of the America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookies from 2010. They were visually appealing enough for my daughter to choose them as one of her birthday party treats, and fortunately did not take hours to make, like these. They were fabulous, and super easy. I loved how you just sprinkle the chocolate chips on top as soon as they get out of the oven, then a few minutes later they are soft enough to spread. I also took one more shortcut – as I was shopping for Hello Kitty’s hair tie decorations, I found a container of already chopped peppermint candy – I couldn’t resist.
These were a huge hit with the kids, and a huge time saver for me. These will definitely go into the “make again” category for the holidays. Now if only I could save enough time to make some of my bosses recipes this holiday season…let’s see.
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (6 ounces) white chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup chopped peppermint candies (about 15 candies)
Heat oven to 350° F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with 2 crisscrossed pieces of foil, leaving an overhang on all sides; grease the foil.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly.
Combine the sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in the flour and mix until just combined (do not overmix).
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 27 minutes.
Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with the white chocolate chips, and let sit until chips have softened but not melted, about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, smooth the chocolate evenly over the top of the brownies, then sprinkle ground peppermint candies over the chocolate. Cool completely for about 2 hours.
Holding the paper overhang, lift the brownies out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.
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