Suzen is not fond of brownies. She really does not like mint frosting. So, I am forced to self-brownie.

I know this blog has several brownies recipes, and there will be more. Just as there are connoisseurs of wine, so I know brownies. I can tell you how many eggs, melted or whipped butter, what kind of chocolate, what kind of sugar, the type of nuts, if the nuts were toasted, …

How many brownie books are in your kitchen? I have a few. Well, a lot. Well, just about every one I’ve ever looked at.

I think brownies are a fascinating food. After chocolate chip cookies, and of course Oreos, they are the American favorite. When you walk the baking aisle of your supermarket, you do not see a lot of packages for peanut butter cookies. But brownie boxes adorn the shelves like ornaments on a Christmas tree.

Do I have a favorite? Yes, it’s this one. Today. And next week, there may be another. I bake a batch or so a week. [If Suzen responds to this blog and says that I am not telling the truth, please just ignore her exaggerations]. My daily dosage is about 2 or 3. Or 4. Look, how many brownies does it take to match one piece of 3-layer cake? Viewed that way, brownies are a calorie bargain. Especially if the frosting is thin, which it is in this recipe.

This base of this brownie is actually the “standard” recipe but then extended with a thin layer of mint icing followed by the thinnest possible glaze of dark chocolate. This recipe is from my mentor, Maida Heatter, and I’ve made it more times than I would admit to you, to Suzen, or a priest.

Quick to make, quick to please your mouth, these brownies will not linger long in your kitchen. Which means there will be room next week for some variety!

Chocolate Mint Sticks

Yield: 32 very small bars

Ingredients:

For the Brownie Base:

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 ounces (one stick) unsalted butter
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 ounces (generous ½  cup) wallets or pecans

For the Mint Icing:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup strain or sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon (or a few drops more) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

For the Chocolate Glaze:

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preparation:

Preparation of the Brownie Base:

Adjust a rack one third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 inch square cake pan and dust all over with fine, dry breadcrumbs. Invert the pan shakeout the exit excess. (This cake has a tendency to stick to the pan; using the crumbs will prevent that.)

Put the chocolate and the butter in the top of a small double boiler over hot water on moderate heat. Stir until smooth. Remove the top of double boiler and set aside to cool slightly.

In small bowl of electric mixer beat the eggs until they are foamy. Beat in salt, vanilla, and sugar. Add the chocolate mixture (which may still be warm) and beat to mix. On low speed add the flour, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating only until mixed. Stir in the nuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread it to make a smooth layer.

Bake for 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and let stand in the pan at room temperature until completely cool

Preparation of the Mint Icing:

Place all the icing ingredients in the small bowl of electric mixer and beat until smooth. It might be necessary to add a few drops more a heavy cream, but it should be a thick mixture, not runny. Spread the icing evenly over the cake still the pan. It will be a very thin layer. Place the cake refrigerator for five minutes, no longer.

Preparation of the Chocolate Glaze:

Melt the chocolate and the butter in the top of a small double boiler over hot water on moderate heat. Stir until completely smooth.

Pour the hot glaze over the chilled icing and quickly tilt pan in all directions to cover the icing completely with the glaze. It will be a very, very thin layer glaze, just enough to cover all the icing (if the icing does show through in a few spots don’t worry.)

Refrigerate the cake for about half an hour, or until the glaze starts to look dull.

Remove, cut, and serve. These are delicious both chilled and warmed to room temperature.

Source: Maida Heatter’s Cookies by Maida Heater