How has your week been? I hope you’ve been keeping dry! What a soggy week we’ve been having here in Van. On the plus side, Spring Break and St. Patrick’s Day are around the corner! Do you celebrate St. Patty’s? It’s kindof a strange holiday, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to catching up with some friends and perhaps enjoying a green beer on the 17th.
Why do we celebrate St. Patty’s Day? There’s more to it than leprechauns, pots of gold and Shamrock Shakes, right? I was curious and needed a reminder so here are some tidbits from around the net: The truth behind the Shamrock. Who was St. Patrick? St. Patrick’s Day in Canada.
When I think of the colour green in dessert form, the flavour mint comes to mind: Mint chocolate-chip ice cream on a hot summer day, sweetened mint tea on a calming afternoon, chocolate-mint wafers, but only “after eight”. What’s your favourite minty dessert? Mint is such a refreshing, delicate flavour that adds a soothing touch to most anything. It’s especially decadent when paired with chocolate. Can you think of a better dessert duo?
Mint and chocolate: What a perfect pair for a St. Patrick’s Day dessert!
St. Patty’s Peppermints
I slightly adapted this recipe from Deborah Roitberg and Susan Mendelson’s “Homemade Mint” recipe in their cookbook “Nuts About Chocolate” that my Mom has tucked in her cookbook cabinet. There will be more ideas snatched from this cookbook in the future.. just you wait!
Yield: 2 dozen peppermints, one 9 x 9 inch brownie batch Time: 30 mins prep, 25 mins bake. Temp: 350 Degrees
*Note: This recipe makes for a sort of “2 in one” dessert. You make 2 kinds of dessert for the time it takes to make one. You can make 2 dozen peppermints and a batch of brownies with this recipe, or you can make a whole lot of peppermints (4 dozen). Your choice.
If you choose to do the latter, you need to pick up 1 mini-cupcake tray.
If you choose to do the former (peppermints and brownies) you need a mini cupcake tin and a brownie pan (9×9 inch.)
Brownie Batter 3/4 cup butter 3 eggs 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 tsp peppermint extract 3/4 cup flour Mint Glaze 1 cup icing sugar 2 tbsp milk 1 tsp peppermint extract green food colouring Chocolate Coating 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted.
Directions:Brownie Batter: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a double boiler, melt chocolate with butter until smooth. Remove from heat. 2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs together until frothy. Add the sugar and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. 3. Stir egg mixture into chocolate mixture and add 3/4 cup flour. Mix well. 4. Pour small dollop of batter into each mini cupcake container (1 inch high). Pour remaining batter into buttered 9 x 9 inch brownie pan. Bake both in 350 deg. oven for 15-25 minutes. 5. Once both trays are out of the oven, allow mini brownies to cool for 5 mins in tin. Remove them from tin and cool on wire wrack. *Check mini brownies carefully! They are done when your finger does not leave an imprint in their tops. Brownie tin will need longer than mini brownies. Brownie tin is finished when a skewer comes out clean from its centre. Mint Glaze: 1. Mix all glaze ingredients together and dollop 1/2 tsp on top of each mini brownie. Pour remaining glaze on top of brownies pan. 2. Save 3 tbsp of glaze for decorating. Colour this separated glaze with green dye. 3. Place mini brownies on a cutting board or plate and flash freeze mini brownies for 3 minutes in freezer. This will set the glaze before you dip the mini brownies into the chocolate. Chocolate Coating: 1. Melt chocolate in double boiler until smooth. Scrape melted chocolate into a deep measuring cup or bowl. Allow 2 minutes to cool slightly (or else it will be too hot on fingers). 2. Carefully dip each glazed mini brownie into melted chocolate until coated, and place on a clean cookie tray to dry. 3. Let mini brownies cool until chocolate is hard. Shamrock Decoration: 1. Once mini brownies are hardened, take a plastic baggie and cut a tiny hole in a corner. Put one spoonful of green glaze into baggie. Carefully squeeze three dots of green dye onto centres of the hardened chocolate coated mini brownies in a “triangle” design. Carefully draw a vertical line from top dot to bottom of brownie. (See picture demo below). Brownie Decoration: 1. Use remainder of the melted chocolate to drizzle over glazed brownie tin. (Do this once glaze has hardened). Drizzle with remainder of green glaze once chocolate drizzles are to your liking. (See picture demo below) Reference: Mendelson, S and Roihberg, D. (1991). Nuts About Chocolate: 92 Tantalizing Recipes. Douglas and McIntyre Publishing Co.: Burnaby, BC.
Close ups and demo pics:
How to beat the eggs until they are “frothy”
Glazing the mini brownies:
Drizzing the chocolate glaze over the brownies:
How to pipe a shamrock onto the peppermints, courtesy of Bakerella:
If you have a chance to make these brownies or peppermints, I hope you enjoy their soft, gooey, chocolatey taste that seems to melt on your tongue. The peppermints are perfect to pop on a tray if you have some friends coming over, or bring with you in a tupperware to wherever you may be going. Spread the cheer. Happy St Patty’s :) May you have a jolly evening and perhaps a minty chocolate dessert to enjoy!