Soft baked Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Squares are exactly what everyone needs at Christmas time! These brownies are soft in the middle with crushed candy cane pieces on top!
I always thought that the best chocolate flavor combination was with peanut butter (which actually is awesome) but then when Christmas time comes around I’m reminded about chocolate and peppermint! Everything from the smell to the taste makes me question my chocolate peanut butter love affair. But when the flavor mash-up is delivered to you in a rich dark chocolate soft centered brownie, life can seem pretty good.
You can make my chocolate peppermint brownie squares just for yourself, absolutely no shame there but they also make great gifts for any special people that might need a special reminder at this time of the year. Wrap them in a clear plastic bag with a Christmas ribbon and who could resist? Brownies are sort of like cookies in the way that they can be many different textures. Cakey, gooey and squishy are all ways I’d describe a cookie or brownie, but personally for me I like my brownies soft in the middle, almost a little underdone.
WHAT MAKES THIS CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BROWNIE SO RICH?
Between using good quality chocolate and adding more brown sugar than regular white sugar, are the main reasons for the richness. I prefer to stay away from the cheaper brands of chocolate chips when baking just because they can have extra ingredients added to them like more sugar and they also contain less cocoa butter to help the chips hold their shape in cookies. My go-to chocolate chip is this variety from Guittard. They melt really well and taste rich and dark but not bitter.
HOW TO MELT YOUR CHOCOLATE
Melting chocolate can be stressful. A few extra seconds on the heat and you can end up with a nasty smelling burned mess that can’t be saved and will require another drive to the grocery store. It’s better to melt the chocolate slowly either in the microwave or over a double boiler. This would require a pot of simmering hot water with the bowl of chocolate sitting over it to capture the steam making the chocolate melt. These peppermint brownie squares are a little unique though because the chocolate is melted directly in the pan with the butter over a low heat until silky smooth.
HOW WILL I KNOW MY BROWNIES ARE DONE?
The brownies will go from looking wet and shiny on the surface to more of a dull finish on them. They’ll still feel very soft to the touch but will firm up a little as they cool. Remember though, I like my brownies on the softer side, if you prefer yours a little more cake-like, just add an extra 5-7 minutes to the bake time and you should be good!
TIPS FOR MAKING THESE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BROWNIES
- Start off by using a large pan. You’ll be adding dry ingredients and it’s easier to have some room in the pan while mixing all of the ingredients. I use a 10 inch pan.
- Use good quality chocolate or chocolate chips.
- When combining the sugars into the melted butter and chocolate, make sure to stir the mixture with a whisk constantly until most of the sugar has dissolved and doesn’t feel grainy.
- Add the crushed candy canes to the surface of the brownies as soon as they come out of the oven.
- When you line your baking pan with parchment paper, leave an overhang so that you can easily lift the cooled brownies form the pan to slice them.
- These are very rich so I like to slice them into 16 squares.
Chocolate Peppermint Brownie Squares
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 stick 4oz unslated butter
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips divided
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp mint extract
- 3 lg eggs
- 3 small candy canes crushed ina zip lock bag
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large pan over a low heat, melt the butter and then add the chocolate chips.
- Stir constantly until the chocolate has fully melted with the butter.
- Add the sugars and stir again until the mixture doesn't look as grainy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time whisking them in to the chocolate batter without any lumps.
- Add the peppermint extract.
- Add the flour mixture in two stages slowly mixing until no lumps are visible.
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking tin and place in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with crushed candy canes as soon as the brownies come out of the oven.
- Let cool before slicing into squares.