Saturday, May 22, 2010

Minty Mountains of Brownie Goodness

I tried my best, I really did. Today was just not my day. I’m a little under the weather today, and to make myself feel better, I planned a long afternoon of my favorite thing: baking!! I found these sinfully sweet bites on Our Best Bites, and they immediately went on my must-bake list. Today, I decided they were just the thing to tempt my appetite into coming back.

I love chocolate and mint together- the perfect marriage of two unique flavors into something fantastically indulgent. These brownies take the best idea the girl scouts ever had (Thin Mints!) and made it even gooier and more scrumptious. I needed them in my life. Pronto.

I got off to a great start; everything was going well. I melted the butter and chocolate into a smooth, chocolaty syrup. Melting chocolate is always a risk: heat it too quickly and it will not melt- just chunk up and burn, too slowly and it will never melt, and remain in unappetizing clumps. I like the Microwave method- heating for 30-second intervals, stirring well between each session. The chocolate will not melt on its own in the microwave, only by stirring will it become creamy and smooth.

Then the sugar and eggs mixed into a frothy batter, ready to combine with the syrup and flour. I poured the syrup into the batter while mixing and watched while the chocolate formed a rich brown ribbon in the egg and sugar mixture. Next comes the core of the brownie, adding the flour to create substance. By spooning the flour mixture in, you avoid making the batter clumpy. Poured it in a pan, and threw it in the oven. So far, so good!

Then oven betrayed me again. It’s my fault this time- one of those fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…Bravo toaster oven, you have shamed me well. I shouldn’t expect too much out of the toaster, it is only a little guy. But I wanted my brownies, and I wanted them NOW, not in 2 months when I have a real oven again. So I crossed my fingers and wished for the best. The oven wished for my brownies to burn. It won. But I do not go down that easy- I cut the edges and burned parts of the top off. It may not be the prettiest brownie on the block, but it would still taste just fine.

I moved on to the frosting stage. Minty and light, creamy and smooth- MmmmmmMmm. I added a few drops of vanilla to the mint frosting, just to round out the flavor. I spread it on, covering up the uneven crumbly edges from operation-pretend-it-didn’t-burn-on-top. All that was left was popping it in the fridge to chill it, then drizzling a layer of chocolate glaze on top.

This is where is really went sideways. And I do mean that literally. The edge of the pan caught the edge of the shelf in the fridge and BAM. My pan of yummy mint brownies went crashing to the floor, falling SPLAT on its edge. Half the brownies fell out, face down on the floor. The other half piled on top of each other, mashed up, upside down, frosting smeared all over the place. Disaster.

But too bad. I am salvaging these brownies no matter what. I scraped the brownies off the floor and tossed them. Don’t worry, none of them made it into the final product, I’m not THAT desperate. The brownies that managed to stay in the pan got spread around, re-frosted as well as they could be, and put on a plate. Instead of flat, neat squares of brownie, I ended up with little mountains of minty chocolate goodness, delightfully gooey. While I would not declare this day a resounding success, the brownie mountains did their duty- I was hungry enough at the end of it to indulge in a whole little chunklet. And enjoyed every bit of it. You regular brownies watch out, this may become a new trend!

Source: Our Best Bites- see link for complete recipe

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