And so the paradoxical summer baking streak continues.
Well... what's paradoxical about chocolate mint brownies? It actually makes perfect sense to me.
I got this recipe from NYT Cooking, which I'm turning to more and more these days. (It's the email blasts, I think. I love an email blast that sounds like it's written by a real person, not a click-optimizing program.)
This recipe is adapted from Katharine Hepburn's brownie recipe but with a few important tweaks.
First, there are no nuts. These brownies are for D's birthday and he is anti-nuts in dessert (unless they're peanut). We will disagree about this until the end of time, but a birthday dessert is no time to be contentious. No nuts.
Second, I cut the already tiny bit of flour (1/4 cup) with almond flour. Why? I wanted to make this a practically flourless cake. And, see above, I also like nuts in my dessert but Dave doesn't. How to hide them...
Third, I browned the butter because browned butter begets better brownies (yes, that's how I say it in my head).
And, last, I added mint extract. Just the tiniest bit because you don't want this to taste like toothpaste! I had no way of knowing this in the beginning, but the mint extract does something interesting. This is no regular brownie. It's a cross between a brownie, fudge, and the chewy/candied part of a meringue. It's sticky yet chewy, rich yet... and that's where the mint comes in. The mint cuts the richness and brightens the flavor in the same way lemon or red wine vinegar might brighten a savory dish.
RECIPE: (adapted from Katharine Hepburn's Brownies from NYT Cooking)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt and brown butter in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of Dutch-processed cocoa then set away from heat, above five minutes. Add two eggs -- one at a time -- and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 3 drops of mint extract.
In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of sugar, 1/8 cup of almond flour, 1/8 cup of regular flour, and a pinch of salt. Add to cocoa butter mixture and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into a greased 8" x 8" square pan. The brownies are very flat so don't worry if it seems like the pan is too big. Bake for 35 minutes, then cool slightly and cut into squares. Like all brownies, these are good warm. But because of the mint, they're also great cold.