If you love chocolate mint as much as I do, you will love these Chocolate Mint Brownies. Gooey chocolate brownies studded with minty bits make for such a treat. I’ve been making this recipe for years, ever since I developed it in tribute to my paternal Grandma (more about her in a moment) but recently I’ve had to make a change to the recipe.
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Up until recently, I used Guittard Mint Baking Chips in my Chocolate Mint Brownie recipe. They were hard to get in the UK and very expensive, but I loved their flavour and the green colour they gave to the brownies. However, recently it has become nearly impossible to source these minty bits of goodness. Even the Guittard website is often out of stock.
So I set to work finding an alternative, something that still gave the gorgeous chocolate mint hit, but that was easier to obtain and more frugal. In the end, I used dark chocolate and mint crunch bars by Chocolate and Love. I just cut the bars up in small squares, to create makeshift mint chocolate “chips”. They had a wonderful flavour and stood up well to the heat of the oven. You can use any good chocolate mint chocolate bars provided they don’t have any kind of a creamy filling.
Anyway, the whole reason for developing my own Chocolate Mint Brownies recipe all those years ago was as a St Patrick’s Day treat and tribute to my late paternal Grandmother, Mary Addis.
Scroll to the bottom for the recipe, or read on if you’d like to find out more about this remarkable lady.
Why I’m A Little Bit Irish Every Day
Mary left her home in Belfast when she was barely 18 years of age to travel to Canada. She undertook the risky, unpleasant sea voyage with several other young women her age, under the protection of her future employer, who owned a textile mill in a town that would soon be known as Galt.
Mary left Belfast wearing this locket containing photographs of her mother and father, never expecting to see them again. I immigrated to England when I was 23, but there was almost no question that I would see my family again. I can’t imagine being as brave as Mary was.
I’m not sure what the conditions in the mills were like, but I know they would not have been acceptable today. As Mary died before I was born, I have little knowledge of her life during her first days in Canada. However I do know that not too long after she arrived, she “roller skated right into” my Grandpa, a World War One veteran recently returned from the front. According to my Grandpa, it was very much love at first sight. I always loved that story. Mary and Joe, my grandpa, were married in 1922.
Mary and Joe went on to have four children and 11 Grandchildren, although Mary only met six of her Grandchildren before her death aged just 61. I was born less than a year after she died, but she never knew I was on the way.
My Grandpa talked about Mary (who he called ‘May’) all the time when I was little. I used to wear her aprons, which were still all ironed and neatly folded in a kitchen drawer, whenever I helped in his kitchen. I wear Mary’s locket quite often, and always on St Patrick’s Day. Her hand crocheted doilies are on one of our dressing tables upstairs.
I think of Mary often, particularly when I’m nervous about trying something new. If my Grandma could do what she did all those years ago, there really is very little excuse for me not to be brave in nearly any circumstance.
Mary returned to Belfast twice, once for a visit with her parents in 1925 and again for her father’s funeral in 1948. On her first visit, Mary took her first child, my Aunt Irene, with her. The ship’s rosters for both their outgoing and return journey tell me they were gone for several months. I am not sure how long she was away on that last journey but I know the journey took considerably less time as she travelled by plane. Mary’s two journeys home make me realise how lucky I was to be able to visit with my late parents so many times, both here in the UK and back in Canada.
Back to my Chocolate Mint Brownies!
Chocolate Mint Brownies Hints and Tips
I like to use Bournville cocoa powder or Green and Black’s cocoa powder. Both have a rich dark chocolate flavour which makes the chocolate mint brownies extra special.You can, of course, use any cocoa powder that you like. However ,please don’t use anything labelled ‘drinking chocolate’.
If you cannot find Chocolate Mint Chips or a Chocolate Mint Chocolate Bar – or if you are a huge fan of mint – you can always add a half a teaspoon of mint extract to the brownie batter instead of vanilla. My friend April Birch uses pure peppermint essential oil to make these brownies. She recommends adding about 5 drops to the batter, but you can add more or less to taste.
My Chocolate Mint Brownies really are the work of moments. Then all you have to do is wait – enjoying the incredible smell of them baking wafting through the house – about 35 minutes until they are cooked. Be sure not to overcook the brownies as it’s their moist texture that helps make them so irresistible.
I like to bake these brownies in this Wilton 13 x 9 inch pan. You still need to grease this non-stick pan, but it’s definitely easy release and cleans up so easily. I love that it has a lid that fits tightly. My last batch of these brownies kept well for over a week at room temperature – but that is only because there were only two of us at home!
The glaze on these brownies purely optional but it really does make them extra special – especially if you are serving them for St Patrick’s Day.
Chocolate Mint Brownies – Printable Recipe
Chocolate Mint Brownies
- 1 teaspoon butter for greasing the pan (You may need slightly more or less.)
- ¾ cup cocoa powder Green and Black's or Bournville if possible
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅔ cup melted unsalted butter, divided
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 cups caster or granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1⅓ cups all purpose flour all purpose flour is also known as plain flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup mint baking chips or chopped up chocolate mint chocolate bars
- Glaze -
- ⅔ cup icing sugar icing sugar is also known as confectioners sugar
- 1 to 3 teaspoons water
- ¼ teaspoon mint flavouring
- a drop of green food colouring
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C or 165°C for a fan oven).
- Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch (33 x 22 x 5 cm) pan.
- Sift the cocoa and baking soda into a large bowl.
- Stir in ⅓ cup of the butter. (That's 75 grams or half of the butter)
- Add the boiling water and stir until the mixture thickens up.
- Stir in the sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla and the remaining ⅓ cup butter.
- Stir well until the mixture is smooth.
- Sift in the flour and salt.
- Stir until well blended.
- Stir in the mint chips.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, put the icing sugar in a bowl and gradually add the water until you have a smooth, drizzle-able glaze.
- Stir in the mint flavouring and a drop of green food colouring.
- Mix well.
- When the brownies are completely cool, drizzle with the glaze.
- Let the glaze set for at least a half hour before cutting the brownies into squares.
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