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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thin Mint Brownies

I love Girl Scout Cookies, yet I'm not sure why.  They are good, but I've had better cookies.  But, I still purchase these cookies every single time someone approaches me with the option.  Somehow, we ended up with 7 boxes of girl scout cookies this year.  S.E.V.E.N.  What the heck?  For someone who bakes as much as I do, this is completely unnecessary.  Apparently, I must have been making up for cookie-less times in past years (or I was shopping on an empty stomach) when I ordered these damn things.  

So, I decided to do something fun with this impulse purchase.  Originally, I decided to have a mini-Girl Scout Challenge in my kitchen.  I have a ton of copycat recipes for girl scout cookies and thought it would be fun to have a bake-off/taste-test, etc.  Then I realized that it would be even more absurd to have double the amount of cookies in our house.  So, I settled on a single brownie recipe instead.   These brownies are baked with chunks of thin mint cookies.  

I love dark chocolate and decided these would be made best with all things dark.  I opted for Hershey's dark cocoa powder instead of unsweetened cocoa powder.  I also used 8 ounces of dark chocolate (61% cacao) Ghiradelli baking chips instead of baking chocolate because I didn't have it on hand (although convenient, chocolate in bar form retains chocolate flavor much better than chips, it makes a difference in baked goods, try it!).  These brownies were an explosion of chocolate and pretty good.  I made mint brownies last year (during one of my 3am baking binge sessions at finals) with Andes baking chips and a chocolate ganache frosting.  Those turned out to be pretty good and I think that if I baked again, I would use that recipe w/ the thin mint pieces and add the ganache.  The brownies would be absolutely amazing.  I need to find that recipe...

On a side note, my mom suggested that I start bringing some of my baked goods to a shelter or a senior citizen's community.  I often bring goodies into work/school, but I'm fearful that people get annoyed when I do this.  I'm weird, I know, but if someone was always shoving baked goods into my face, I'd feel compelled to eat them and I would feel bad if I turned them down.  I wish I had a place to bring all of these goodies (like a bakery shop that I own!!) and I am on a hunt to find a willing place.  I still intend to bring goodies into work/school, but for how much I bake, this stuff needs to go elsewhere too!  
Thin Mint Brownies
adapted from The Food Librarian
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
    • I used Hershey's dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped 
    • I used dark Ghiradelli baking chips
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 sleeve Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, chopped. 
    • (16 cookies)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line 9 x 9 square pan with parchment paper and butter or spray with Pam with flour.
    1. I could not find my 9x9 so I used an 8x8.  It worked fine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  4. Place butter and semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. 
    1. I used my double-boiler.
  5. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. 
  6. Remove bowl from heat. 
  7. Add sugar; mix to combine. 
  8. Add eggs one at a time, and mix to combine. 
  9. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). 
  10. Fold in chopped Girl Scout Thin Mints. 
  11. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
  12. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 40-50 minutes. 
    1. Original recipe note: be sure to check them early.  The original recipe says "50-60 minutes" but she found them to be done at 50.
      1. With 8x8 pan, mine took about 46 minutes (with a wavering oven).  
  13. Cool in pan for 30 minutes.  
  14. Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). 
  15. On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into squares.

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