Confession #115: I Have Too Much Fun with Holidays… Mint Oreo Brownies
St. Patty’s Day is coming up! And since that holiday just happens to be my half-birthday as well, I thought brownies were in order.
Okay, I promise, I don’t really celebrate my half birthday – or St. Patrick’s Day, for that matter. But I love any excuse to bake something fun and out of the ordinary, so I’ll take any holiday you have to give me. I’m all about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Fourth of July, but Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween play a bigger role in my baking than they do in my life. It’s more fun that way. :)
So… these brownies have a story. They started out green, as in mint chip green. I wasn’t even sure if I was allowed to call them brownies, but they sure weren’t blondies either. More like greenies? But apparently things weren’t quite on my side, because that green “brownie” batter did some weird things in the oven and turned out like some sort of mad science experiment. It was a mess – a delicious one – but still a mess. But hey, at least it gave me a good laugh. #notevenkidding
I learned two things: don’t try to use mint chips as the base of your brownie batter and DO stuff your brownies with Cool Mint Oreos. Trust me.
Even though I enjoyed eating that first crazy batch of brownies, I’m pretty sure this version is better for sharing. These brownies are rich, moist, dense, and chocolate-y, and (of course) stuffed with whole Mint Oreos in every slice. As if that weren’t enough, I topped them with a rich chocolate ganache, even more crushed Mint Oreos, and a few sprinkles of green sugar crystals. Going overboard? Yes Hah, no way.
A friend literally said, “That brownie was legit the best thing I’ve ever tasted.” I’ll take that. :D
These rich, dense, and chocolate-y brownies are stuffed with whole mint Oreos in every slice. A dollop of ganache and an extra smattering of Oreos on top add an indulgent finish. They make the perfect dessert for St. Patrick's Day or the holidays, but you might not be able to resist them the rest of the year either!
4 ounces unsalted butter (1/2 cup), cut into tablespoons
7 1/2 ounces dark chocolate baking chips or chopped dark chocolate (1 1/4 cups)
3 1/8 ounces all-purpose flour (3/4 cup, spoon and sweep)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/4 ounces granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
16 Cool Mint Oreos
5 ounces dark chocolate baking chips or chopped dark chocolate
4 1/8 ounces heavy cream (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (optional*)
green sugar crystal sprinkles (optional)
approx. 6 Cool Mint Oreos, chopped
To Make the Brownies:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8" square pan with foil, leaving extra foil hanging over the edges to help lift the finished brownies out of the pan. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
Place the butter and chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30-second increments, stirring with a rubber spatula in between increments, until both the butter and chocolate have melted and the mixture is silky and smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs with the sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and thickened and ribbons down from the beater when it's lifted. Add the cooled chocolate and butter mixture and stir in on low speed until evenly incorporated, wiping down the bowl and beater as needed to make sure everything is well-combined. Sift in the dry ingredients and fold in just until evenly incorporated with the dry no longer visible.
Transfer some of the batter to the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to spread out in a flat layer that covers the bottom surface to every corner and edge. Use just enough - less than half of the batter. Add the Oreos in a 4 x 4 arrangement on top (for easier slicing, try to arrange them in straight rows and columns with a sliver of space in between each one). Dollop the remaining batter on top and smooth out in a flat, even layer that covers everything underneath. Shake the pan back and forth a few times to help the batter settle.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs but not wet batter. The top should be puffed up and the brownies should slightly pull away from the edges of the foil when they are done. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing. Once completely cool, life the brownies out of the pan and slice. Dipping your knife in hot water and wiping it dry between each slice may help to make clean slices. Space the brownies out on a large tray or other surface for decorating.
To Make the Ganache:
Place the chocolate in a bowl. Microwave the cream for 30-45 seconds, just until it's barely starting to boil. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Then, stir gently until smooth. Stir in the corn syrup, if using.
To Decorate the Brownies:
Spoon ganache over each brownie and smooth out with a small spatula to cover the tops. Sprinkle sugar crystals over the ganache, if using, and sprinkled chopped Oreos on top.
Leftover brownies should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
*The corn syrup is used to keep the ganache shiny. Feel free to leave it out if desired.