Friday, December 16, 2011

Chocolate Mint Brownies – Behold, The Tree of Disappointment

I loved everything about these brownies, except the flavor. I love mint, I love chocolate, and I love chocolate mints, but for whatever reason, I don’t like chocolate mint brownies. It’s quite a personal mystery.

My wife Michele’s theory is that since we love the pure chocolately goodness of classic plain brownies, the addition of that extra layer of flavor, especially one as distinctive as mint, just throws everything off. That could be.

Also, I don’t like the combination of nuts and mint, and so these didn’t contain walnuts or pecans like they usually would. Maybe it’s nut denial that has me in this anti-mint mood. Anyway, enough about my problems, if you like chocolate mint brownies, which based upon all the requests I got, many of you do; you’ll probably love these.

I’ve used a very stripped-down method here that requires almost zero technique, and uses only cocoa powder to achieve a dense, chewy, very chocolatey brownie. I hope you give these a try, and if you don’t enjoy mint either, just leave them un-iced, or add another flavoring like vanilla, orange, or rum extract. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/8 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
For the icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp mint extract, or to taste
2 tbsp milk

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

"nut denial"....very very nutty !!!
I'll try them
Merry Christmas Chef John....i'm still chuckling.

Veronica said...

I absolutely hate mint in any form (too much nasty tooth paste as a child I guess! now use neutral!) - but your other ideas just inspired me.

Will see if I can find either organic fruit or extract, and make a lemon or orange one. I have loads of icing sugar and coloured sugared paste after some ginger bread house-attempts (cough cough) - rather try my hand on these!!

Anonymous said...

love this recipe!! what if i add some nuts?

Anonymous said...

Nothing for leavening the brownie?

Monica said...

i hate chocolate mint combinations as the mint ruins the chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef,

Finally a brownie recipe, thank you! ;)

Can I use these brownies for the Rum Ball recipe?

Thanks again and have a great weekend!

Rita said...

i will surely enjoy this recipe! will make it this weekend, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

i once used the banga banga technique on my flatmates head. long story.

He Took MY Last Name said...

Hmm... maybe its because you used unsweetened cocoa powder, making it a darker chocolate? A milk chocolate flavor probably would have been better.

I love both so can't wait to try it

Bobby said...

Those brownies look tasty, Chef John. Since you don't like mint, why not use the ganache recipe from your Boston Cream Pie episode and mix in some nuts?

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Ahhh...

Finally another recipe where I can find the ingredients, and its chocolate my fav...

I not too fond of mint too but not that intense, lol!

Geez Louise! said...

i don't like nuts and mint either... i have the ultimate peppermint "tea" brownies on my site. nobody can resist them... happy holidays

Steve said...

Chef:

Small correction: I think you mean "stripped-down" and not "striped-down" in the last paragraph.

I won't be hurt if you don't publish this comment.

cb said...

Hi Chef, I makea Creme de Menthe brownie that uses a nice fudgey brownie, green icing and is topped with a layer of chocolate topping like a ganache so it makes a chocolate 'sandwich' of goodness. similar to this picture http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5203/5265549044_c7f1568479.jpg I have tried other 'mint' brownies and don't care for them for the minty reasons you mention but for some reason the double layer here of chocolate seems to make these a must-bake enjoyment. May wish to try that.

Anonymous said...

i dont like mint and brownies together either so i just made the brownies without any frosting at all. Oh My Goodness they are the best brownies i have every had. thanks so much! these are gonna be dangerous :)

esztiklock said...

I love this "old tapa-tapa" thing! :)

Wendy B. said...

I'll never understand the whole mint and chocolate combination. Yuck. The tree on the top looks pretty, though! Merry Christmas, Chef John.

Anonymous said...

Would this brownie recipe work well with a cream cheese frosting, chef john?

Chef John said...

if you like cream cheese frosting it would work I suppose!

Anonymous said...

Chef John, ive looked at your recipe on how to cook sausage patties. and i realized that i haven't seen a video when you demonstrated how to make sunny sided up eggs. do you think you can show us how?

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to double the recipe? I'm new to baking and I don't want to mess up the brownies.

Chef John said...

Sure!

Anonymous said...

Hi, chef!!! Can these brownies be used to make those rum balls u mentioned few days ago? Thanks alooot ;)

Chef John said...

Yea!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,
After reading your post and watching the video I finally knew what to do with the organic peppermint extract sitting in my pantry!
With two of my kids sick at home I thought it would be a perfect treat. You HAVE to try it with the peppermint, I was hesitant but they are delicious, the combo is perfect and more my kids love them, my oldest said "it's a 10 in my mouth mom!". Btw I posted a picture on my FB page, they don't look as fancy as yours but they taste wickid! Thanks for another great recipe, have a great holiday!
Dorothea

Anonymous said...

chef john i love you!! seriously!! i have tried to make brownies forever and they always come out wrong...this was the perfect recipe...it's going into my families recipe book (with your name under it of course).

Xena91388 said...

Hi Chef John! Wanna hear a funny story?

When I saw this brownie post, I instantly got all excited because I had everything in my cabinet and making brownies from scratch is something I had always wanted to do!

So I ran into my kitchen, grabbed all my ingredients, and started putting them together from memory using the measurements listed under the video. Unfortunately my eyes like to do this funny thing where they will read a word from the line above or below and stitch it to the sentence I'm reading. I ended up accidentally adding 1 1/8 cocoa powder and didn't realize it until I was adding in the melted butter! D:

Now I hate throwing away food when I make a mistake, especially when chocolate is involved! So I did some quick mental math and added in extra butter and sugar to compensate but when I was contemplating the eggs, I thought adding a whole new egg would be too much and not adding one would leave my batter too dry, so I scooped out about 1/3 cup of the chocolate/butter/sugar mixture and continued the recipe as you list.

Now I was starting to worry because my batter resembled cookie dough rather than brownie batter and I was already planning my excuses as to how I had a pan cookie planned all along and anyone who said I was making brownies was lying!

After I put the brownie/cookie monstrosity into the oven, I realized I still had that 1/3 cup chocolate/butter/sugar thing to deal with. So I decided to make the frosting out of it. I heated 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream to almost boiling and mixed it with the chocolate thing until smooth and cooled it off in the fridge before adding 1 cup powdered sugar and whisking it until smooth and shiny. I covered in in plastic so it wouldn't harden and left it on the counter while the brownie/cookie thing cooled, and then poured it on like a glaze.

When it was all dried and cooled, I went up to it, grabbed a knife, and started cutting which lead to a bit more panicking because for some reason it was hard to cut! D:

But after it was cut, and I put a slice on a plate, it was actually kind of beautiful to look at and when I took a bite out of it it was soft and chewy and tasted exactly like how a brownie should!

I actually really like the way they came out, I've already written down what I did and it will now go into my personal recipe book! ^_^ Some of the greatest desserts were mistakes after all, like fudge and chocolate chip cookies.

Thank you so much for posting this recipe, without it I would never have invented this incredible cookie/brownie monstrosity!

Anonymous said...

Chief John, how can I get the ingredents in grams?

Chef John said...

Just google metric conversions. Remember only weight will convert to grams. All the other measurements like cups have to convert to ml.

Chef John said...

Xena, wow, thats quite an adventure! :)

Cindy said...

I've always looked for a good brownie's recipe,glad YOU posted one! :) I will sure try this one here in Germany. :)
Happy Holidays Chef John!! :)
Cindy

Anonymous said...

I added some Marihuana and was deliciosooo... thanks again for the recipe.. Have a happy new year... Saludos desde Costa Rica.

Help! said...

Hey Chef John, I love this recipe.
The first time I made it, it came out perfect!

However, the second time, just before I added the flour, I realised that something was wrong with the batter. It would not combine into a smooth batter. I suspect maybe I did something wrong with the butter?

Please do help as I'm not sure what my mistake was.

P.s Thank you for this recipe! :)

Chef John said...

sorry, but i have no way of knowing what you did. I'd have to had watched you tell.

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

Does the powdered sugar icing harden over time? I don't want it to be gooey, because I plan to transport some (to give away to some of my relatives). Will they toughen up like royal icing eventually does (I know it won't be as "airy" as royal icing, I just want to know if it'll harden). Also, will milk make the icing go bad in a couple days if I don't refrigerate the frosted brownies? If I substituted water for the milk instead, can I just store the brownies at room temperature?

Finally, I have Peppermint Oil for baking. If I used that, how much do you reckon I'd need to flavor the icing?

Chef John said...

Icing surface dries, but it doesn't harden. No milk issues. Add peppermint oil to taste. 

Sam D of SD, CA said...

My 10 year old son love brownies AND ANYTHING with mint flavor! I must give this recipe a try!

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Well, I finally made it, but the icing came out really strange...I made it without the mint and well...it tastes of coconut. Me think its the powdered sugar...Are they supposed to taste like coconut?

Add in some more than 1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder for a better tasting icing.

Still half my family said to go without the icing next time. Other than that its too darn addicting...

Dgenksi said...

hi chef john, so I tried these today and they turned out perfect!! it's jus it was just toooo sweet!! maybe I put more sugar than necessary or too much icing!! or IDK it's supposed to be that sugary..

Dericious said...

I tried this... and my friends just totally LOVED it. Mine turned out a little bit bitter... I'm not sure if I did it wrong or not but my friends still loved it! And they usually hate bitter. Thanks Chef John!

Anonymous said...

You mentioned to use the good unsweetened cocoa powder. Which brand did you us for your recipe?

Bradly said...

Hey Chef John! Thanks for this recipe. Super awesome. I'm going to be using less milk or more powdered sugar in my future icing though. Also, I found that the mint extract was always too powerful. So, I'm not going to use it. No mint for me! :)

I ended up using Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder because it was the cheapest. However, I am curious as to what you used.

Thanks again!

Mrs. Constant said...

Hi Chef John! My husband is allergic to Mint, so I decided to try out orange icing. As I was making the brownie batter, I decided to throw in some instant espresso powder. As odd as it may seem, these turned out to be the BEST brownies I have ever made!! I used about 1 1/2 TBSP espresso powder in the batter, and 1/4 tsp orange extract in the icing. I also used the zest from a clementine orange, and used the segments to "decorate" the brownies. Thank you SO MUCH for a wonderful home made brownie recipe!!

Anonymous said...

If I would like to add walnuts, how many cups should I put? 1 cup? Thanks Chef John!

KatreeTree said...

Chef John! Thanks for this recipe! The icing doesn't look too good but I would love to make the brownie part but with nuts. How many cups of walnuts should I put? And you didn't mention to grease the pan? Do you grease it? Or line with parchment? Or both? I'm just gonna grease it? Okay. Thanks!!!

Chef John said...

cup sounds right! yes, grease it.

Gretchen in NOLA said...

and as always, enjoy...Chef John's videos a couple or seven more times, just to be safe. Wrote down 25 minutes bake time instead of 35mins, almost came up with wicked black frosting, so scary, yet sweet I could've call them Kardashian Brownies *pa-thump-thump* anyway, re-checked the vid again and got brownies so ugly and dark(but chewy AWESOME), I assume one should use good quality dutch-processed cocoa and not the stuff from that famous place in Pennsylvania which makes the freakishly popular candy bars

Anonymous said...

How would you alter this recipe to make an equally as chewy & dense vanilla brownie?

Ugo said...

Hey, mr. John! I have one simple question - why are the eggs mixed in the chocolate mixture one by one?

Chef John said...

so the batter doesn't separate. Eggs are mostly water and don't like to mix with butter.

Ugo said...

Thanks. And greetings from Croatia, John!

Anonymous said...

Best brownies I ever made thanx....they were so good that I had to make more the same day. I had to by 2 gallons of milk lol

PearlieTanPeiShan said...

Hi chef john.

I have followed the steps you showed. But my brownies turn out to be kind of bitter and all. And i have no idea why my brownies is so hard, is the heat problem for my oven or theres something wrong ? Can you give me some suggestion ?

Chef John said...

sorry, but i'm not sure!

Brandy W said...

Amazing recipe! I mixed this using the "muffin method" since I plan on making this a recipe jar and I know my family wont take the time to do any proper baking! they'll just put everything in and mix ~ I tested it and these thigns are delicious.

Emir Imran said...

Greetings Chef John!I'm only fifteen and i've been making a variety of brownies lately (I'm havin' my school holidays so i've got nothing better to do) and i came across your recipe for brownies.Quick question,is it possible to substitute the melted butter with a cup of vegetable oil?Since you incorporated liquid into the cocoa and sugar mixture,i thought of experimenting with vegetable oil.Plus i'm all out of butter and i'd like to make a batch of these brownies lol..Thanks in advance Chef!

Chef John said...

You can, but butter tastes way better!

Thor said...

Loose the milk and replace it with Irish Cream!

Jsol said...

These are a big hit every time,thanks for the post and the video, no stressing over doing anything wrong. Cut into small squares and took to work, there wasn't even a morsel left in the cookie tin!

Falasteen Mustafa said...

Hey Chef John when I first tried this I was in love with it and the after a while it started tasting like sour brownies its hard to explain but I love this recipe to much to look for another and I need an answer soon because I have to do them for my bakesale please HELP!

mayagma lope said...

Hi, Chef! Can I use peppermint oil instead of the mint extract?

mayagma lope said...

Hi, chef! Can I use peppermint oil instead of mint extract?

Steve Wattleford said...

Man, I just made this and boy did I choke.

I knew something was off when my batter was looking smooth and gorgeous before I put the eggs in.

Half way into cooking, I'm looking at this light brown fluffy cake thing cooking and it hits me.

I used 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, spaced the other two 1/4 dumps of cocoa powder.

This is terrible and requires me to make more, as I've got this salted dulce de leche that needs to be used up, stat.