It’s a little late for a Christmas recipe, but frankly I can do whatever I want on this website. And what I want is a pan of Peppermint Mocha Brownies.
Made with my tried and true Cocoa Brownie base, these holiday treats come together super easily. Their already-deep chocolate flavor is punched up with semisweet chocolate chips, then accented with just enough peppermint extract and granulated espresso to evoke everyone’s holiday coffee shop fave.
But flavor’s only half of the equation here—Peppermint Mocha Brownies have to look the part, too! These are drizzled with a melted mix of chocolate chips and butter, and sprinkled with as much crushed candy cane as your heart desires. (My heart desires a lot.)
Peppermint Mocha Brownies are rich and satisfying; a little square goes a long way. I, however, have no self control and cut these on the larger side. I regret nothing.
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Whatever and wherever you’re celebrating, I hope you’re safe, warm, and with people you love.
Peppermint Mocha Brownies
adapted from Alice Medrich's Cocoa Brownies
makes one 8- or 9-inch square pan
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (natural or dutch process)
2 large eggs, cold
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (not mint extract)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated espresso or coffee
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
crushed candy canes or starlight peppermints
Preheat oven to 325F. Butter the inside of an 8- or 9-inch square pan. Line the bottom with parchment and butter again. Set aside.
In a small pot over medium-low heat, melt butter, granulated and brown sugars, and cocoa powder together, stirring frequently, until a thick, grainy mixture forms. Remove from heat and let mixture cool 5-7 minutes.
Add vanilla, peppermint extract, and eggs to the pot, and stir/whisk to combine. Add flour, granulated espresso, and salt, and stir/whisk to combine. Fold in semisweet chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan and spread to the edges. Tap the full pan on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles. Top with pecans, if desired.
Bake brownies 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs (not wet batter). Let cool completely in the pan on a rack.
Garnish the brownies. Combine chocolate chips and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Use a fork to drizzle over brownies. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
Refrigerate brownies for 15-20 minutes, until chocolate sets.
Slide a knife around the edges of the pan before using parchment overhang to lift brownies onto a cutting board. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice brownies into 16 or 25 pieces. Serve.
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.