I've recently been playing around with my favorite brownies recipe (the same one I used in these amazing Biscoff Swirl Brownies), trying to create a peppermint brownies recipe to serve at a holiday party.
I tried a number of methods to get the perfect balance of mint to chocolate flavor, quickly discovering that adding crushed candy canes is a terrible idea. Instead of having lovely little peppermint chunks, they candy cane bits melted and made the brownies dense and hard.
I finally succeeded by adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to the batter. Three drops was enough to give them a sweet minty flavor without overpowering the chocolate or changing the texture. But I wasn't satisfied to stop with just a run of the mill peppermint brownies recipe...
Bite size treats and parties go hand-in hand, so I thought why not try turning the batter into brownie bites? And to give a visual cue to let party guests know that they're peppermint brownie bites, why not sprinkle some crushed candy canes over the top? End result -- totally cute little holiday candy cane brownie bites.
A few tips for perfect peppermint brownie bites:
- Butter and flour your mini muffin tin, or better yet, butter it and use cocoa powder to prevent sticking. You could also use a baking spray, but I like to use the cocoa powder so there's no chalky white residue.
- Three drops of peppermint essential oil is plenty. If you don't have peppermint EO, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract.
- Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top of the brownie bites immediately upon removing them from the oven. The heat and moisture they give off when cooling is enough to make the candy stick to the top.
- Let the brownie bites cool for about 5 minutes and then remove them from the muffin tin to finish cooling. You may need to gently slide a knife around the outside to remove them. If you wait until they're completely cool to remove, they will be a royal pain to get out, even if the tin has been buttered or sprayed!
One last thing, if you like to bake cookies and mini muffins, I highly recommend picking up a 1-inch cookie scoop, like this Farberware cookie scoop from Walmart. It makes portioning out equal amounts of cookie dough and other batters convenient and easy!
I am beyond thrilled with how these turned out -- party perfect little morsels that will delight your guests! In fact, I had to hide them from the kids so we'd have some left.
If you want to make this peppermint brownies recipe in a pan, follow the recipe as written. Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper before pouring in the brownie batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until you can insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. Cool on a wire serving rack for 30 minutes before serving.