I promise, the green filling in these brownies is all from the crème de menthe, I have not backed out of my vow to avoid food colouring (with the exception of red velvet cake and that time when I was 5 and wanted to be a blonde.) I also don't believe in the concept of green beer, which is about as Irish as duct-taping a paper towel tube on a horse and calling it a unicorn. Even though I don't drink beer very often, when I do, I like my Guinness or a dark Porter. The one artificially enhanced substance that I do have a weak spot for this time of year is the shamrock shake mixed with chocolate. Every year I allow myself to enjoy just one and every time I wish that I could doctor it up with some Baileys, but it never makes it home.
Taste preferences are fickle, as is fate according to Lost's Ben, though his choice of words were much more truthfully blunt. Sometimes I think dark chocolate and peanut butter are the best couple, other times it's dark chocolate and berries, but now I think that there isn't anything better than the cool iciness of mint combined with the warm cashmere taste of dark chocolate.
Baileys & Crème de Menthe Brownies
(adapted from Joy of Baking)
*printer friendly Recipe*
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 Tablespoon of Baileys Irish Cream
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
1 cup of confectioners sugar, sifted
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1-2 tablespoons creme de menthe
3 ounces (90 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon of butter
Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a 9x9 inch square pan with tin foil and lightly spray the bottom.
Brownies: Prepare a double-boiler. In a stainless steel (heatproof) bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and Baileys. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (with a wooden spoon) after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt and beat, with a wooden spoon, until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan (about one minute). Pour the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges of the brownies are just beginning to brown. A toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies will come out almost clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to completely cool.
Mint Layer: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter for just a few seconds to soften. Add the creme de menthe and cream and about half of the confectioners sugar. Beat to combine, then add the rest of the sugar. If the frosting is too thick, add a little extra cream. (The frosting should be just thin enough to spread.) Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled brownie layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes or until firm.
Chocolate Glaze: In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread over the mint filling and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate glaze starts to dull.
Dip a sharp knife in hot water for easier slicing.