Monday, March 16, 2009

The best laid plans

On Saturday afternoon, three things happened almost simultaneously: I took my beautiful irish cream bundt cake out of the oven, my daughter woke up from her nap, and my neighbor knocked on the door to tell me his wife was in labor and he needed me to watch his daughter. I quickly tried to get my daughter's shoes on, juice cup filled, and then remembered the bundt cake. I frantically tried to shake it out of the pan onto a cooling rack and it all fell to pieces. So sad! The pan was well-greased and it looked like it should have come out with no problem but I wasn't . . . um . . . gentle or patient with it.

So, I salvaged ten pieces of cake (and didn't make the glaze which is the best part) and made some brownies with a mint topping. They were okay - I liked how easy the recipe was but they were more the consistency of fudge than brownies. Does anyone think that there should be baking powder or baking soda in this recipe? I think if I cooked it for ten minutes more, it would have been better. I'm adding some time to the recipe as it is written below.

Mint Brownies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan. In a largeish saucepan (I think the one I use is 2 quarts), melt 1 and 1/2 sticks (3/4ths cup) butter and 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate. When melted, remove from heat. Then add 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 3 eggs, 1 cup of flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix it all up and put it into the pan and bake for 40 minutes.

As soon as you remove them from the oven, pour a whole bag of mint chocolate chips over the top as evenly as you can. I used Andes Baking Chips Let them sit there a few minutes and then cut the brownies, leaving them in the pan (this is more like scoring - you want to prevent the top coating from breaking as much as it would if you waited until they were all the way cool).

Variations and tips: When you stir in the eggs, make sure the pan is off the heat and stir constantly so you don't scramble the eggs. You could add 1/2 tsp peppermint extract to the batter for mintier brownies. If you have unsweetened chocolate, increase the sugar to 2 cups. I haven't tried it yet but I bet peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips would make equally great toppings.

PS - the end of the story is that by the time we walked out of the front door, the neighbor's mom showed up so I didn't need to watch the little girl after all. And, the new baby is named Rosemary - congratulations, neighbors! Oh, and my daughter and I ate way too much of the messed up cake with our hands. It was delicious but I had a headache from too much sugar and baby girl was still going strong at 9pm that night.


  1. Great Story Bec! I love the image of you and Jenna eating the cake with your hands! I bet she loved it! You are a good and kind neighbor, mom and cook!
    I have a "from scraps" brownie recipe if you want to try it sometime. It has a chocolate frosting, but I bet the mint you did here would work well. Love, your mom

  2. Thanks mom . . . and I'd love your recipe sometime. Does it use cocoa powder? That's what I think a real brownie recipe should have.

  3. I use a cocoa powder recipe from the Nestle cocoa container. It tastes great.

    Last night I made cinnamon biscuits, which were like cinnamon rolls but not bready. Will liked them. And homemade lemonade from my own lemon tree!