Monday, December 1, 2008

Chocolate Peppermint Bars- Like Brownies with a Christmas Twist

Makes one 9x13 pan 
First Layer
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sifted flour

Pre-heat oven to 350
Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment or with foil, making sure that edges of foil or paper extend high enough that you can use it to lift bars from pan, grease well.
Melt chocolate and butter over hot water or microwave 45-60 seconds on high until melted. Blend together.
Combine eggs and sugar and beat at medium speed until sugar is dissolved and mixture is creamy.
Add flour to egg mixture blending just until combined then add chocolate. Mix thoroughly.
Add batter to prepared pan and spread it evenly over bottom.
Bake on bottom shelf of oven for 20 minutes then transfer to center of oven for 5 more minutes or until a toothpick stuck in can be pulled out without batter sticking to it. Just a few crumbs. Cool completely then remove from pan and place on a cookie sheet.

Second Layer
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
3 TBS of softened butter
1 1/2 TBS of half and half or milk
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 drops of green or red food coloring if desired I like the red!
Combine sugar and butter mixing until smooth.
Blend in cream and peppermint flavoring mixing again until smooth.
Spread on cooled first layer as smoothly and evenly as possible.
Refrigerate until chilled.

Third Layer
1 1/2 squares of unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 TBS butter
Melt Chocolate and butter over hot water or in microwave until melted and blend together.
Spread over the second layer as smoothly as possible with a spatula or back of spoon.

Optional- Lightly sprinkle 3 to 4 TBS of finely crushed candy canes or peppermint candies over the top of the Third layer (chocolate) before layer sets up.
Hint- An ice cream scoop makes a great crusher for this job.
Chill well.
Cut onto 1/2 X 2 inch bars. Makes 64 bars
Note: I made a double batch in an 18x13 pan in these photos.

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