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 “Samoas Rice Krispies Treats”

  1. #
    1
    Monica — February 10, 2014 at 8:49 am

    If Carlos claims this is the best thing you have ever made … I might have to make them tonight!

    • beantownbaker — February 10th, 2014 @ 9:57 am

      Let me know if you do. I was seriously SHOCKED when he said that.

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    2
    erin — February 10, 2014 at 10:14 am

    OH. MY. LORD.

  3. #
    3
    Aimee@shugarysweets — February 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Yeah, I can see why these are the best ever!!!! Love Samoas!

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    Tracy | Pale Yellow — February 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I grew up calling them Samoas and didn’t like them when I was selling them, but have since grown to love them. Great twist on a traditional rice krispie treat!

    • beantownbaker — February 11th, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

      I can’t tell if the naming thing is regional or not. I know people who grew up in Indiana like me who call them Samoas. They’ll always be Caramel Delites to me.

  5. #
    5
    Dina — February 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

    they look sooooo good!

  6. #
    6
    vanillasugarblog — February 13, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Sharing these in my friday link roundup!
    Everyone needs to see these!

    • beantownbaker — February 13th, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

      Thanks for sharing them!!

  7. #
    7
    Shannon — February 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    oh jeez. caramel de lites here, too 🙂 these sound killer!

    • beantownbaker — February 23rd, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

      You’re the first person I’ve met who calls them Caramel de Lites too!

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    8
    Shikha @ Shikha la mode — February 27, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I’ve been wondering why they aren’t always called Samoas!

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    stephanie — March 18, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Are the pecans there for the Samoa flavor or just an extra addition?

    • beantownbaker — March 18th, 2014 @ 8:03 am

      They add some texture but you could leave them out if you wanted.

  10. #
    10
    Justin — March 19, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Awesome recipe! Let me provide a little insight to the naming of the cookies (Caramel deLights vs Samoas my wife is a girl scout troop leader). The girl scouts rely on a few bakeries to produce their cookies. Caramel deLights are made by one bakery, while Samoas are made by another.

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    Erin — April 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Just made these – very tasty, but I had a lot of trouble with the caramel layer. It hardened so much, I couldn’t cut the squares. I had to heat them up a bit to cut through the caramel, and then they got rather sticky and did not cut cleanly. Followed directions exactly, not sure what went wrong…

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    12
    Shannon C — May 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    On Sunday nights, my hubby leads a college-age Bible study group and I use the kids/young adults as my guinea pigs for trying new recipes. I made these yesterday and they LOVED them. Thank you for the recipe!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

      So glad these were a hit for you! This has become my most frequently made and requested recipe that I’ve made.

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