For some reason, my friends don't always just come right out and ask me to bake something. Instead they leave clues, ninja-style, for me to find in the morning.
I can take a hint.
If someone buys not one, but two, bags of mini Peppermint Patty baking pieces and inconspicuously leaves them in the middle of the kitchen counter (next to my beloved coffee maker), I'm guessing that said someone perhaps wants me to make something? And I, ever the devoted friend, am more than happy to comply.
I really don't have much to say about these brownies. Hopefully the name (and photos) will do all the talking. I'll just leave you with the following buzz phrase.
"It's like eating a minty, fudgy, cream cheese blizzard!" ~Anon.
Peppermint Patty and Cream Cheese-Swirl Brownies
for the cream cheese swirl
8 oz of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
for the brownies
12 Tablespoons (that's 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 room temperature eggs
2 Tablespoons cream (or milk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-8 oz bags of Hershey's Premier Baking Pieces Mini York Peppermint Patties
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang along the edges. Butter the foil.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until creamy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the sugar, egg, and flour and beat on medium speed until smooth. (It's okay if there are a few tiny lumps here and there.) Cover and set aside while you prepare the brownies.
Place both chopped chocolates and cubed butter into a large, heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Stirring occasionally, heat the chocolates and butter until melted and smooth. As soon as it's smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool to room temperature.
In a separate, medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking Powder, and salt. Set aside.
Add the sugar to the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Whisk until well combined. (It will look grainy.) Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add cream and vanilla, whisk to combine.
Add the flour mixture and, using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the dry ingredients until all the white streaks of flour have disappeared.
Fold in both bags of Peppermint Patties.
Spread about half the batter into the prepared pan. Use a large spoon to dollop large drops of the cream cheese mixture over the batter. Use the same method to add the remaining brownie batter in between the clumps of cream cheese. (If you run out of room in the pan, it's okay to squeeze the batters together.) Use a butter knife to gently swirl the batters together...try not to over-swirl.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. (Try to test an area that doesn't have a peppermint patty.)
Remove the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool completely.
Use the foil overhang to lift the brownies out of the pan. Slice into squares or triangles.
These are excellent after an overnight stay in the freezer!