Cream Cheese and Peppermint Crunch Brownies

cream cheese and peppermint crunch brownies

Hello, friends. I’m here to help you get ready for your winter bod.

You know what I mean – it’s the soft, mushy, body we all end up with during the cold, comfort food-filled months that start during the holidays. It’s the body that we drape in leggings and loose sweaters, layers and thick jackets, and maybe a sparkle or two because it’s not like we don’t care anymore, it’s just that… THERE’S SO MUCH GOOD FOOD. It’s the body that expands a little, maybe gets a tiny bit more pale and less muscular, but it always comes with a happy heart. And full bellies. I like winter bod.

I also like these brownies. Really really like them. I made these brownies a few times over the last few weeks, and I even included it in the recipes for the last BCAE Holiday Edition cooking class that I taught with my favorite bearded blogger.

peppermint crunch brownies

A few comments from students, friends, and co-workers who’ve tried these brownies:

“I can’t get over how good these are!”

“You lied, these are not brownies, this is fudge!”

“This tastes like Christmas in my mouth.”

All true.

The base of this brownie is my tried and tested recipe for super fudgy brownies. There’s only a scant amount of flour, and I used dark cocoa powder plus a teeny bit of coffee powder for an intense chocolate taste (you can’t taste the coffee at all, it just amplifies the chocolate flavor). Then I let it snow with a very merry sprinkle of peppermint chips, on top of am extremely generous slather of cream cheese frosting. The result is a brownie that’s perfect for the holidays.

cream cheese brownies

Just look at that frosting! It’s almost as thick as the brownie. I always overfrost, especially when I whip up my two favorites: dark chocolate sour cream frosting, and cream cheese frosting. The two have a few things in common: both are a little heavier (unlike whipped, fluffy varieties), not too sweet, and with a subtle tang. Both also bode well for eating by the spoonfull (#winterbod).

I bought pre-chopped peppermint baking chips (got a bag of Andes at Target), but you can also just chop up candy cane, or even use mint chocolate chips. I love Andes mints, especially straight from the freezer or just chilled. These brownies are great chilled, too. And pairs very nicely with a glass of red wine. Or red wine sangria. Mmm-mmm.

candy cane brownies

Yield: 16 bars

Cream Cheese and Peppermint Crunch Brownies

Ingredients

Brownies

1 1/4 sticks butter, softened
2 large eggs
3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

1/2 cup Andes peppermint crunch baking chips

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Make the brownie base. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter, eggs, sugars, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, chocolate extract, and coffee.
  3. Mix well, then stir in flour and salt. Whisk together until smooth.
  4. Spread brownie batter in a foil-lined and buttered 8x8 pan.
  5. Bake 22-24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in brownie comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  6. While brownies are baking, make the frosting. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Mix until smooth and well blended. Stir in confectioners' sugar, and continue mixing until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine.
  7. Frost brownies, and sprinkle with peppermint crunch chips. Chill for an additional hour or so, if you prefer, before cutting and serving.

brownies with cream cheese and peppermint crunch chips

I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season, whether you’re in winter or not. This year, I’ll be spending the holidays in tropical bliss in the Philippines. But don’t you worry, I am still eating all the brownies.

   

9 Responses to “Cream Cheese and Peppermint Crunch Brownies”

  1. #
    1
    Christina Orso posted December 14, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    oooooooh my goodness bianca! i want all of these. ps: let’s have brunch soon!

  2. #
    2
    Michelle Lahey posted December 14, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Winter bod = happy weight. ;)

  3. #
    3
    grace posted December 15, 2015 at 11:32 am

    YUM. that thick layer of creaminess on top of the fudgy chocolate is a perfect yet rarely seen combination!

  4. #
    4
    Ashley posted December 16, 2015 at 11:57 am

    These brownies are so festive and pretty! Not to mention they sound pretty darn delicious! :)

  5. #
    5
    Molly Galler posted December 16, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Yum city! I was so sad to be away in SF for your second BCAE class. I hope there is a third one!

  6. #
    6
    Mike@TheIronYou posted December 16, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Oh man, you’re killing me here. This is like cheesecake meets brownie meets fudge meets peppermint -> one word: AWESOME!

  7. #
    7
    Monica posted December 17, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Brownies disguised as fudge/fudge disguised as brownies…either way works because they look amazing!! Love holiday time and seeing/enjoying all these treats!

  8. #
    8
    Meghan posted December 18, 2015 at 10:45 am

    These look soooo decadent! Have an amazing trip!

  9. #
    9
    Elaine Lin posted December 21, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I’ve heard of bikini bod, but I haven’t heard of winter bod until today, and this made me laugh. These brownies look fudgy and fantastic, and I love the thick layer of frosting on top.

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