Monday, December 16, 2013

Candy Cane Blizzard Brownies

Rich and dark on the bottom, sweet and creamy in the middle, and topped with a chocolatey peppermint crunch, these brownies will have you singing Jingle Bells all the way to Christmas.
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The countdown til Christmas has officially begun, and this makes me one happy camper.
And just when I though I was making some serious headway with my holiday "must-bake" list, the idea for these little beauties popped into my head, and demanded to be made stat.
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What's a girl to do, but to obey to her innermost foodie demanding dark chocolate and peppermint cream, right? 
So that's exactly what I did, and the entire household (as well as neighbors and friends) rejoiced. Oh, and yes, that's a bright purple sippy cup in the background. I staged it like that on purpose.
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Ok, here's the deets. You start with an entire package of peppermint oreo cookies and crush those babies to a pulp. Next, mix up some homemade brownie batter and fold in a third of those crushed cookies. Once those are baked, you'll top them with a combination of whipped cream, cream cheese, and more of those crushed cookies. Since that's clearly not enough decadence for what this holiday season calls for, you'll finish these bars off by topping them with melted dark chocolate and more (yes, more!) crushed peppermint cookies.
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That sounds about right to me, you?
Once you slice these up, they kind of look like a brownie avalanche explosion, but I think that makes them all the more appealing.

Candy Cane Blizzard Brownies
makes 16 bars

16 oz package peppermint Oreo cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
1 tsp peppermint extract, divided
1 cup extra dark cocoa powder
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter a 9 inch square baking pan and line with parchment, allowing sleeves to overhang on two sides. Brush parchment with butter and set aside.
Add melted butter to a large bowl with both sugars and whisk until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk in both extracts.
Fold in cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Stir in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and one-third of the crushed oreo cookies.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Set on a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
In a large bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. 
In a separate bowl, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract until well combined.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Fold in one-third of the crushed oreo cookies.
Spread filling on cooled brownies.
Make the topping.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt the remaining 1 ½ cups chocolate chips with oil. Heat for 30 seconds then stir. Continue to heat and stir at this interval until chocolate is smooth and melted.
Pour chocolate over the cream cheese filling and smooth with a spatula.
Scatter remaining crushed oreo cookies on top.
Chill brownies in refrigerator before slicing...if you can wait that long!
Enjoy!










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