Fudgy. Rich. Intense. Chocolaty. Pepperminty. Amazing.
All of these words are ones that I would use to describe these Peppermint Cookies n’ Cream Brownies, which just might be my favorite brownies to date. The response to them in general (as soon as my unofficial tasters no longer had their mouths stuffed full of brownie) was “oh my god.” They had a fantastic balance between being fudgy and chewy. Not overly wet or undercooked, the brownies held their shape very well and were still very moist with a nice chew that meant you could savor each piece slowly as you ate.
The brownies were inspired by a box of seasonal Peppermint Jo-Jo’s – the Trader Joe’s version of Oreo cookies – that I bought last week. The cookies are great on their own, with just the right amount of mint filling to balance the chocolaty wafer. They taste kind of like a high-quality thin mint cookie (but better, in my opinion). That flavor came through very well into the finished brownie, giving the treat a refreshing hit of mint that prevented the chocolate flavor from getting too intense.
I added the cookies into the brownies as though they were chocolate chips, roughly chopping them first with a large kitchen knife to get them down into a manageable size. Some pieces were a bit larger than others, but just about every part of the cookie melted slightly into the brownies. I also garnished the top with a sprinkle of crumbs, so that it was easy to see what kind of brownies these were from a glance, but this is entirely optional. The peppermint flavor will b a surprise whether your cookies are garnished or not since it is so unexpected. If you don’t have access to peppermint Oreo-type cookies, use plain Oreos and add a teaspoon of peppermint extract to your batter. Alternatively, you should be able to use other chocolate/peppermint cookies, such as Thin Mints, as a substitution.
Cut these into small pieces, as they are big and rich. Take them to a holiday party or other gathering where there will be lots of people to share them with, too, or risk being tempted to eat them all yourself.
Peppermint Cookies n’ Cream Brownies
1 cup butter
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups roughly chopped peppermint oreo-type cookies (approx 18)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease lightly.
In a medium-large saucepan over low heat, melt together butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Whisk in sugar, salt and vanilla, then turn off heat. Whisk in eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in flour and cocoa powder until mixture is uniform. Stir in peppermint oreo cookies and pour batter into prepared pan. Crush 3-4 additional cookies finely and sprinkle on top of batter, if desired.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, but not coated with batter.
Cool brownies in pan for about 20 minutes, then lift brownies in the foil out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 36 brownies (or 48 bite-sized brownies).