Look how pretty! Peppermint Brownie Bark, all dressed up and ready for giving!
Wait! Too soon? After all, it’s only been about eight weeks (!) since that very first post where I shared with you the chewy, chocolate-y goodness known here as, “Brownie Bark“. Those of you who have made it, have loved it; those of you who have not…well, here’s your second chance. This time, it’s peppermint! I know. Genius idea, right? (Or, an obvious one :)
If you are new to brownie bark, you need to get yourself familiarized with this amazing yummy treat. (Read this post for more info on the background of the bark.) Here’s the lowdown…this “bark” is actually a very thin brownie that is chewy, full of chocolate and can be highly addictive; once you’ve had one, you most certainly will want another. They’re so thin, they don’t feel like much of a splurge. It’s an easy recipe; the hardest thing you have to do is separate two eggs. Use a mixer to whip up the egg whites and then start adding your ingredients.
Once you’ve got everything mixed up, you’ll spread it thinly on your baking sheet coaxing it gently outwards until you’ve got a nice large rectangle. I use a silicone spatula to do this and it’s really quite easy to form the shape and get the thinness required to make the bark. Then, you’ll add the rest of your toppings. One of the reasons you save chips for topping is that when you spread the batter, it’s difficult to get the chips evenly distributed. So, I don’t even try. I simply fill in the bare spaces with the chips that go on the top and voila! A well distributed sprinkling of chocolate.
In this particular seasonal creation, I added some peppermint extract to the batter and sprinkled on some white chocolate peppermint chips. I decided to use the soft chips instead of chopped peppermint candies because I think the soft texture works better with the chewy brownie. Then, just to make them more festive for gift giving, I drizzled on some melted white chocolate.
Finally, I decided to make some tags for you so that you could dress up your gift properly. Just print the sheet, punch a hole in the top, feed a ribbon through it and you have a perfect peppermint present.
Of course, you could always just make them and eat them.
You don’t need any tags for that.
Peppermint Brownie Bark
For the brownie:
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder I used Hershey's
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder optional, to enhance chocolate flavor
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract make sure it's peppermint, not just mint
- 1 Tablespoon non-fat dry milk powder
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the toppings:
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup andes peppermint white chocolate chips or other chocolate peppermint chips
For the white chocolate drizzle:
- 6 ounces white chocolate chopped
- 2 teaspoons shortening I use non-hydrogenated
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Line a large jelly roll pan or baking sheet with a pan sized piece of parchment.(Do not use wax paper for this.) I used a half sheet pan. Spray the parchment with cooking spray and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. I used my stand mixer to do this, but I’ve also done it by hand.
Add the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, oil, vanilla and peppermint extracts, beating until smooth.
Whisk in the milk powder, then the flour mixture.
Stir in ½ cup of chocolate chips.
Spread the batter on the parchment spreading it as thin as possible. Mine was about 14” by 10”.
Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips over the batter filling in any gaps where there are no chips from spreading the batter.
Sprinkle the 1/4 cup white chocolate peppermint chips evenly over the batter.
Bake the bark for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and cut it into squares using a long sharp knife or pizza cutter. I used a pizza cutter and had no issues slicing through the batter. Do not separate the pieces once cut.
Return the pan to the oven, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove it from the oven and cool on the pan.
Once cool, break it into pieces.
Melt the white chocolate pieces and shortening in the microwave stirring at 15 second intervals until melted. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. They stay chewy for at least two days, after that, they become Brownie Brittle, still delicious but no longer chewy, perfect for dipping in a hot cup of coffee or tea.
*Depending upon what quality of white chocolate you use, you may need to add more shortening to achieve a drizzling consistency. Don't overcook it trying to get it to become thinner. Just add shortening a little bit at a time until it is thin enough to flow freely from your spoon.
*Make sure you use peppermint extract. Mint extract tastes like spearmint.
*You can use anywhere from a 1/4 teaspoon to a 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. 1/4 teaspoon will give you a lightly minted bark...I used the 1/2 teaspoon for more peppermint flavor.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2014