Merry Christmas and Peppermint Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

First of all, I want to say Merry Christmas Everybody! I hope everyone is having a great holiday. I wanted to show off a picture of our tree. This is the first year we’ve done a tree in Boston because there isn’t a whole lot of room for one. Last year I didn’t even decorate because we were traveling so much with the holidays. But this year, we got a real tree! I was very excited. It’s about 5’8″ tall and it fits on top of our end table since we have really high ceilings.

Once we got it into the stand, we realized that our box of ornaments had been stored at Hubby’s mom’s house since we had never planned on needing ornaments here in Boston. So we went to the dollar store with $20 in our hands and came out with the decorations you see here. It’s just red and silver bulbs with white lights. And, Hubby fashioned a star out of a coat hanger that I wrapped in foil. Ta-Da! Here’s what our tree-on-a-budget looks like. I love it!

Peppermint is by far my favorite holiday flavor. Something about it just makes me feel like it’s wintertime. It reminds me of snow. It’s well known that I love fun sprinkles. When I saw these at the store, I had to have them. Not only are they shaped like candy canes, they have a peppermint flavor to them. I also have some fun snowflake sprinkles that are obviously only useful in the wintertime. Hubby and I were trying to figure out what to take to a holiday potluck and I knew I wanted to build a dessert around these festive sprinkles.

So I knew there would be peppermint involved, and I wanted to pair it with chocolate. I’ve been doing a lot of bars recently so I thought I’d make peppermint brownies, drizzle them in some ganache and highlight the fun candy cane and snowflake sprinkles. I also added a bit of peppermint extract to the white chocolate and bittersweet chocolate ganache.

To kick things up even more, I was thinking about another of my favorite peppermint treats. The Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe Joe’s. They’re dangerous to have in the house because I tend to pop one or two when the box catches my eye. So I combined all of these things together by adding the candy cane Joe Joe’s to the brownie batter prior to baking the brownies.

I cut these into small brownies so they are more like little bites of peppermint brownie deliciousness. These little brownies were a huge success at the party. If you’re looking for a festive wintery dessert to make, definitely give these a shot.

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Peppermint Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

For the White and Bittersweet Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 oz white chocolate
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
6 Tbsp heavy cream

For the Peppermint Brownies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 tspsalt
1 tspbaking powder
1 tspespresso powder, optional
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
~25 peppermint sandwich cookies, such as Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's, cut into chunks

Directions:

For the White and Bittersweet Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
Break white chocolate into chunks and place in a bowl. Break bittersweet chocolate into chunks and place in another bowl.

Bring heavy cream and peppermint to a boil.

Pour half of the cream over the white chocolate and half over the bittersweet chocolate. Let set for a minute then whisk each until smooth.

For the Peppermint Brownies
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan

In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat briefly, just until it's hot, but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, if you've heated it in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, peppermint, and vanilla.

Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour and cookie chunks. Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.

Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool completely prior to cutting.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

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18 Responses to “Shipping Cupcakes in a Jar”

  1. #
    1
    CB — November 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I love it! Where did you get the jars? Now I totally wanna do this for xmas gifts!
    /Clara

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    2
    Jen — November 9, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    I looked everywhere and just couldn’t find them. I ended up ordering them from Amazon. They weren’t very cheap so that was a bummer…

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    3
    CB — November 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Ah bummer. What size are the jars? I wonder if Ikea would have them? Whats the amazon link?
    /Clara

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    4
    Jen — November 9, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I ordered them from here. You want the wide mouth jars so the cupcakes fit and the 1/2 pint size is perfect.

    The yellow cupcakes didn’t rise much so I added more frosting to fill the jar and the chocolate ones rose quite a bit so they had less frosting. My sister said that the chocolate one had the perfect amount of frosting or could use a smidge more, so you want a cupcake that has at least a small dome.

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    ttfn300 — November 9, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    haha, i’ve never seen that before 🙂 love it!

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    Katie — November 10, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    OH FUN! I’ve seriously always thought about doing this and never did. I’m starring this post to remind myself at Christmas. Too cute!!

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    7
    Janna — November 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I have been dying to try this ever since I saw it last year on someone else’s blog. They actually baked the cake in the jar and then iced it like a cupcake. I am going to have to order some of those iddy jars! Too cute!

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    Beth — November 16, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Hmmm…might have to do this for Christmas instead of those “ingredients in a jar” thing we were thinking of.

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    Renée — March 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I really want to try this, but I keep reading online that you shouldn’t put frosting in the jar because it will get moldy by the time it reaches its destination. I’m sure you would have heard if it was moldy when it got to your friend right? I would just be so embarrassed if that happened. Any help?

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    Jen — March 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Renee – I’ve done this twice and both times haven’t heard of any mold. I froze the cupcakes/frosting in the jars prior to shipping them. I also shipped in the winter. My one sister even didn’t go get her package from the office until a week after it arrived and it was still good. I would guess she ate her cupcakes about 10 days after I sent them. I’m not sure if shipping in warm weather will have an impact on potential mold…

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    Renée — March 12, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Alright I’ll definitely give it a try then. It will make for a very good Easter present for my faraway friends =)

  12. #
    12
    Jen — March 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Oh that’s a good idea!! I might have to order some more jars and do the same myself…

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    13
    Hillary — June 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    What a clever idea! I would love to get a cupcake in the mail! 🙂 Maybe I’ll send out Valentine’s Day Cupcakesnext year!

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    CuteCupcakesAllTheTime — May 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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    CuteCupcakesAllTheTime — May 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Love these!! We have featured you on our blog. http://cutecupcakesallthetime.blogspot.com

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    Pat — February 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Did you freeze them before shipping? The jars looked frosted…

    • beantownbaker — February 24th, 2013 @ 10:21 am

      I did freeze them. They defrosted as they were shipped. I’ve done it with and without the freezing depending on the weather and whatnot.

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    PinkSuga — October 27, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    What shipping method did you use? Overnight or Express???

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