Chocolate and peppermint are an unbeatable combination. The taste always says Christmas!
I had some precious cooking-baking time with our granddaughter Baylie this week. She’s home from college. We made some fancy cookies. The recipes were from some of my favorite food bloggers and they turned out fantastic.
Here’s the deal though. I’m just plain old always-in-a-hurry, Betty. Mom says I was born that way but my need for speed was marinated in years of working full time, owning businesses, and commuting.
Everything had to be fast or it didn’t get done. So, I learned to streamline a lot of things. I’ll bet there are lots of people out there nodding and thinking, “Yeah, me too.” I relate to you!
Speedy Results Start With A Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
Do these chocolate peppermint bars start with a brownie mix? Yes! What does that mean? For starters, all you need are a bowl, a spoon, and a measuring cup. Mix the batter in no time flat.
I am hooked on my 11″ x 7″ Pyrex baking dish for bars made from a mix. Don’t have one? Do the math. A 9″ square pan works, too. So does a 10″ round pan which you could cut in cute wedges!
All of those have nearly the same square inches. You may need to adjust the baking time a little bit.
Pat the batter in a greased pan of your choice, sprinkle with sugar, and pop it in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes.
Now It’s Peppermint Candy Time
It was a great day when I discovered bagged, crushed peppermint in the candy aisle! I almost broke out in a happy dance right there on the spot!
Candy canes are tough buggers to crush. I always ended up with broken zip lock bags and a mess. But, if you have some pent up frustrations, you can still do it the old way. Bam! Smack! Take that!
After about 12 minutes in the oven, pull the pan out, shut the oven door, and sprinkle about 1/2 cup of crushed candy cane over the still soft bars.
Now pop it back in the oven for 4 or 5 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. The chips will melt a bit and stick right where we want them. See the little peppermint puddles?
From Simple Simon To Fancy Nancy In A Flash
Patience is the key here. The bars need to cool completely before you embellish them. Another thing. These taste pretty amazing if you stop right here! They would make an insanely good base for a brownie sundae.
But, if you want to fancy them up a little, that’s easy, too. I like to use a little old dime-store glass creamer to melt chips or make a small amount of glaze. It has a little spout and it’s easy to handle and it goes in the microwave.
Melt about 1/2 cup of dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips with a teaspoon or so of shortening. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between. Don’t over do it. When it’s melted just enough to pour, squiggle some lines of chocolate diagonally across the bars.
It will cool and firm up quickly. Then, if you want, you can do the same thing with white chocolate chips or white baking chips, squiggling in the opposite direction. See how pretty?
Once the squiggles are set up, cut into small bars. They are sweet and rich! So yummy!! Santa tested and approved!
- 1 box fudge brownie mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
- 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or white baking chips
- 2 tsp shortening
- Combine brownie mix, eggs, oil, and peppermint extract in a bowl. Stir until combined.
- Pat batter into a greased baking pan. Can use an 11" by 7" or 9" by 9" or a 10" round pan.
- Sprinkle 1 Tbsp sugar evenly over the batter.
- Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Remove from the oven, shut the oven door and sprinkle 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy over the top of the batter and return to the oven.
- Continue baking for about 5 more minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
- Set the pan on a rack to cool and allow to cool completely.
- Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of shortening in a microwave oven. Do 30-second increments, stirring each time you check on them.
- When they are melted enough to pour, squiggle diagonal lines across the surface of the bars.
- Repeat with white chips, squiggling in the opposite direction.
- When the squiggles are completely set, cut into small bars.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 124Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
Christmas. It’s essential to remember why we celebrate it. Yesterday, I found myself getting anxious about everything I have left to do. I realized how non-essential all the frenzied rushing and overspending we do really is, and I did a mental and spiritual reset.
Let’s take a deep breath and find ways to simplify or yes, leave some things undone. Let the real reason for the season fill your heart. This year has been hard enough without beating ourselves up.
Sending you love, peace, and joy!
P.S. If you like the idea of easy and good bars in a hurry, here’s another one that has been really popular. Busy Day Lemon Bars.
If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you!
Love, GB (Betty Streff)