Mint and chocolate is one of my all time favorite combinations and is a classic for the holiday season. Combine it with fudgy brownies and it’s pure perfection.
Although I do love peppermint, I enjoy it in small doses. Like peppermint patties…one bite is enough to fulfill my sweet tooth. So when I saw this recipe I decided to double the brownie base but keep the peppermint frosting at the original amounts to cut the richness a bit. I also kept the chocolate layer on the lighter side since most of us aren’t huge chocolate lovers but I know that isn’t normal so I would recommend doubling it if you want more chocolate-y goodness.
It’s the perfect ratio of peppermint and chocolate and just a small square will satisfy any sweet tooth. I hope that you all are enjoying the holiday season with all your loved ones!
1 family size dark chocolate brownie mix (prepared according to box directions)
for the peppermint frosting:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the chocolate layer:
4 oz. chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4-1/2 cup Andes peppermint crunch pieces, or crushed candy canes
1. Prepare brownies according to box directions. Cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar together. Add milk and extracts and whip until thick and fluffy. Spread over cooled brownies and refrigerate for at least an hour.
3. Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 30 second increments. Drizzle over peppermint frosting and spread. Sprinkle with peppermint crunch pieces or candy canes.
*frosting recipe from The Galley Gourmet
If you all have been following me for awhile, you know that Joel and I are not big chocolate lovers. It has it’s place in cookies and such but for me, not as the main star. I’ve never been a fan of chocolate cake (except for my sister-in-laws) or chocolate ice cream but somehow Noah got the chocoholic gene. So some kind of chocolate ice cream had to be present at his party and I decided to go with Rocky Road since he also has a love affair with marshmallows and almonds.
This chocolate ice cream is incredibly rich and decadent (thank you dutch process cocoa) so just a scoop is satisfying. Which is good considering the ingredient list. The marshmallows stay soft and the almonds add a delicious, salty crunch.
Although this wouldn’t be the first ice cream I would reach for, it’s pretty tasty even for a non-chocolate lover. And I have to say too, my brother doesn’t care for chocolate all that much either and he said it was his favorite of all my homemade ice ventures. That’s saying a lot when you consider this, this, this, this and this.
Rocky Road Ice Cream
recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup roasted, salted almonds, roughly chopped
1. In a food processor, combine sugar, eggs and cocoa and blend until smooth.
2. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle the hot milk into the chocolate mixture through the feed tube. Process until well blended. Pour the entire mixture into the pan and cook over low heat. Whisk constantly until the custard thickens slightly. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large, clean bowl. Cool slightly then stir in the cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.
3. Stir in the custard then freeze according to manufacturers directions. During the last 5 minutes of freezing, dump in the marshmallows and almonds. Transfer to a freezer safe container.
We are leaving for the Dominican Republic tomorrow at the crack of dawn. Literally. Our plan starts boarding at 5:05 which means we have to leave the house by 3:45, with a toddler and a baby. Not sure we were thinking clearly when we booked the flight. I’m pretty sure we are going to get the stink eye from our fellow passengers. Especially since said baby is wild, crazy and her screeching may be mistaken for a pterodactyl on board (totally didn’t know pterodactyl started with a p). Ooooh well. We’re going to a tropical paradise and nothing is going to bring me down!
So I was a totally unprepared and unfit blogger and didn’t prepare posts ahead of time so I’m going to be MIA for the next week or so. I promise I planned on it but with Noah’s party last week it totally slipped my mind and just didn’t happen. And I don’t even feel bad about it because when Noah woke up on the day of his party he told us “this is going to be the best day of my life” and he confirmed it by the end of the night. I’ll have more ice cream recipes to share from his party as well as some pictures of the fun cupcakes I made.
Anyway, onto the waffles. And just FYI before you start, if you decide to double this recipe like I did the first time you should definitely double all the ingredients…like the cocoa powder. Kind of important. Sometimes I worry about myself.
These whole wheat waffles are rich and chocolate-y (as long as you put in enough that is) and just slightly sweet. Using whole wheat pastry flour ensures that they aren’t dense and dry. And with just a few slight changes to the original recipe they are easily converted to a delicious clean breakfast. They are really yummy smothered in fresh strawberries and drizzled with pure maple syrup. Yum!
Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Waffles
recipe adapted from Alida’s Kitchen
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. honey
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 overripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pure maple syrup for serving
1. In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, buttermilk, bananas, grapessed oil, eggs and vanilla.
2. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients being sure not to overmix (which will lead to tough, dense waffles). Let batter sit for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat waffle iron. Cook waffles according to your waffle makers directions.
My mixer hasn’t seen much action the past few months and Noah really wanted to make a pretend birthday cake. Yep, he’s a weird but very very smart child. He can think of any excuse for dessert. He’d been throwing me a pretend birthday party all morning and what’s a party without cake? I have trained him well.
So, these aren’t cake but I had them on my mind since my mom raved about them days before when she had sampled them at a luncheon at work. It didn’t take much convincing to make blondies instead of cake since they had frosting AND chocolate.
I also assume you all have been really missing the sugary goodness around here so I decided I would sacrifice for you and sample one of these bars as my cheat for the week. Oh, the things I do for you guys! But then they were immediately wrapped up and sent to work with Joel. I just couldn’t be trusted with them in the house.
They are chewy and gooey with all kinds of butterfinger goodness throughout the blondies and frosting. Make sure to bake them just until they are set for ultimate deliciousness. Let me warn you, they are incredibly rich so just a few bites will satisfy your sweet tooth sufficiently.
And make sure to keep these in mind to use up those extra butterfingers after Easter!
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 cups coarsely chopped Butterfinger Bars (approximately 16 “Fun Size” bars)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger Bars (approximately 4 “Fun Size” bars)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated. On low add your dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) until just combined. Stir in your chopped Butterfingers.
2. Spread in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes until center is JUST set. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
3. For the frosting: cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Add in you powdered sugar on low speed. Turn speed up to medium and mix until smooth Stir in your chopped Butterfingers. Spread on your cooled blondies