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Peppermint brownies are fantastic fudgey brownies with a hit of cooling peppermint. The classic dessert gets a holiday update!
I get stressed out when it comes to bringing food to a party. Yep, that’s right — even food bloggers fret over what dish to bring.
The problem actually comes from being a food blogger. Or rather, people knowing that you are.
Suddenly there is a higher level of expectation. You can’t just grab some chips and salsa and call it a day. (Unless you bring something like homemade persimmon salsa, which is a win in and of itself.)
And, while you want it to be a hit with the crowd, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, especially during these crazy pre-holiday days.
Peppermint brownies for the win.
whole wheat pastry flour in brownies
These peppermint brownies were adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe, but were born of the ingredients that were in my pantry. A forgotten bag of peppermint baking chunks and whole wheat pastry flour are the not-so-secret ingredients.
Why use whole wheat pastry flour in brownies? I love to bake with whole grains for added flavor and nutrients. Whole wheat pastry flour is lighter than regular whole wheat flour, as it is ground from the soft wheat berry rather than the hard wheat berry.
Whole wheat pastry flour is softer and lighter, making sure your baked goods still have the whole grain properties you want (hello fiber) without turning them into bricks.
Whole grains absorb more moisture, so with these peppermint brownies you end up with the absolute best texture. Not dry and cakey, and not so fudgey that you can’t hold them in your hand.
They’re even better the next day after baking!
peppermint crunch baking chips
To add the cool flavor to the peppermint brownies, I used Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips. They’re made with white chocolate and bits of peppermint candy.
When baking with them, the white chocolate melts away into the brownie, leaving behind perfect little bursts of minty flavor in each bite of brownie. The tiny red flecks are hardly noticeable until you take a bite!
I used them in combination with semisweet chocolate chips to make sure I had plenty of chocolate flavor, but if you really love peppermint you can use the entire bag of peppermint chips in your brownies.
how to make peppermint brownies
When baking brownies, it’s important to heat the sugar with the butter before mixing in the other ingredients. Dissolving the sugar will help to create the crunchy, shiny topping that so many people love with brownies.
Don’t heat it too much, however! Let the mixture cool a bit before you add the eggs. Too many a brownie batter has been ruined by semi-scrambled eggs.
When it comes to brownies, I don’t have a preference for the variety of cocoa powder used. Some prefer Dutch-process, but this is often hard to find in stores. Lately my go-to has been unsweetened Ghirardelli cocoa powder. I grew up baking with SACO cocoa powder, which is a blend of both regular and Dutch-process, but I’ve only been able to find it on Amazon these days.
Whichever you choose, do be sure you buy unsweetened!
After baking, let the brownies cool completely before cutting. I know, they’re hard to resist! But this will help the flavors and textures get even better. Not cutting until serving also prevents the edges of the brownies from drying out, which can be a huge brownie bummer.
peppermint chocolate treats
These brownies make a 9×13 pan, so you’ll have plenty for holiday entertaining. I recommend cutting them into 36 pieces to ensure everyone gets a bite!
You can also easily halve this recipe if you are only making for your family or a smaller group. A square baking pan or even a round cake pan will work wonderfully for a halved version of the recipe. The baking time will remain about the same, but keep an eye on them!
Store your cut brownies in an airtight container or even wrapped in plastic wrap. They’re great for gift-giving, or alongside some peppermint mocha cupcakes and chocolate-dipped peppermint meringue cookies on your dessert table!
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coffee extract, optional
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup peppermint baking chips
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or lightly coat with nonstick spray.
- In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Once the butter is melted, add sugars and stir to combine, continuing to heat and stir until sugar is heated through but not bubbling.
- Pour mixture into a large bowl, then stir in cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, coffee extract (if using), and vanilla extract. Add eggs and stir until smooth.
- Stir in flour, peppermint chips, and chocolate chips, mixing until smooth and no white bits remain.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.