Chocolate Nostalgia

When was the last time you allowed yourself to pause and really enjoy a moment? Not a momentous moment, just any old moment? I think that is one of the reasons we were blessed to find our pup-to remind us how important it is to appreciate those daily moments.

Take time to smell the flowers.    …err… the air, snow, cold.

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I don’t know about you, but nothing gets the creative juices flowing for me better than CHOCOLATE. Mint + chocolate? Genius level thinking.

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Last week I satisfied another major craving, and made a batch of mint chocolate chunk brownies. I got the inspiration to infuse my liquids with mint tea after a tour of Celestial Seasonings. It’s an incredibly easy process–just a couple bags of whatever flavor tea you want your baked goods infused with, and steep in the liquids before mixing. Sometimes that’s difficult, because you don’t have any good liquids to steep the tea bags in (like it melted butter is practically all you are working with in the liquids department). In that case, use extract! Hey, you can’t win them all.

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Dark Chocolate Chunk and Mint Infused Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 7/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chunks (I used a 70% dark chocolate bar I had in the fridge!)
  • 2 bags peppermint tea
  • 1/8 cup crushed candy cane pieces

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Place in smaller bowl with two tea bags and steep until butter is cool. (Alternatively, you can add peppermint extract to the cooled melted butter mixture later on, just a teaspoon.)
  • Remove tea bags and bring butter back to heat, this time adding the sugar and cocoa powder. DO not boil, just heat thoroughly. This will help create that shiny appearance after baking. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a larger bowl and sift.
  • Once butter mixture has cooled, add eggs and mix completely.
  • Add butter and flour mixtures together. Fold in your chocolate chunks and spread in 8×8 pan.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until the sides have begun to pull away and the top has a dry appearance. Remove from oven.
  • Sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces over brownies and broil for 30 seconds or so, just until the candy begins to melt.
  • YUM!
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