Mint chocolate fudge brownies
Updated: Dec 23, 2022
People have strong opinions on chocolate mint, but I have to say it's one of my all time favorite combinations (next to chocolate and peanut butter). With the holiday season in full swing, it's the perfect time to enjoy this classic combination. I posted a recipe for a chocolate mint pie a while back, but I knew we needed a chocolate mint brownie to add to the collection!
Growing up, my sister and I used to make chocolate mint brownies that we both absolutely loved. I remember when I first saw the recipe and learned that the mint topping had cream cheese in it I found it a bit odd - but the combination worked so incredibly well that I knew I needed to recreate it.
The mint topping has melted white chocolate whipped into it and it creates a sweet, light, and refreshing topping paired with the fudgy brownie. The topping comes together in a pinch and because it has no eggs in it, it makes it easy and safe to taste along the way as you add your mint extract. You'll also have the option to add in green food coloring to give it a minty look. Totally optional, but I do love the look of it!
Something to remember when it comes to extract and color - you can always add, but you can't remove. I typically add my mint extract 1/4 teaspoon at a time and taste along the way to make sure I haven't gone overboard, and with the food coloring I go one drop at a time for the same reason. In both cases just remember that a little goes a long way.
You can customize the level of “green” in the topping, the amount of mint extract, and also the look of the swirl. I chose to reserve about 1/2 a cup of my brownie batter to add on top of my mint topping before swirling it. You could reserve less brownie batter batter to swirl in on top if you want more green to come through or even skip the swirl all together. I love the variation in a swirl topped brownie, and it helps with the end texture too.
We've talked a lot about the mint, but the brownie itself is something extra special too. It is incredibly fudgy and full of chocolate flavor. There is mint in the brownie batter itself and the balance between the mint and chocolate flavor is everything you could hope for in a chocolate mint dessert.
One thing I love about brownies is that they taste amazing at every temperature. With these mint chocolate brownies especially, I love them from the fridge or even frozen. It almost reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream but with an even more incredible texture of course.
Ingredients are always important, but I like to splurge on different ingredients depending on what I'm baking. For example, if I'm baking cookies I'm very likely using Plugra or a European style butter. When it comes to brownies, butter is important but not as much as the chocolate. For semisweet chocolate I often use Guittard if I can find it. When it comes to white chocolate and cocoa powder, my favorite brand is Valrhona.
A final note before we get to the recipe. These brownies can be a bit tricky to cut so you have a few options. If you have time to spare, these brownies are very easy to cut once they're frozen. If you can't wait (which I don't blame you) then using a very sharp and hot knife will do the trick. If I'm looking for a really clean cut, I run the knife under hot water between each slice, wipe clean, and repeat.
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
2/3 cup (4 oz) semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon mint extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
3 tablespoons milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup (3 oz) white chocolate
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 to 1 teaspoon mint extract
2 to 3 drops green food coloring optional
Total time: About two and a half hours (plus optional time to freeze prior to slicing)
Prep time: About 25 minutes
Bake time: 35-40 minutes
9x9 square pan (or 8x8)
Whisk and spatula
Mesh strainer or sifter
Stand mixer with paddle attachment*
*You can use a hand mixer instead. A whisk can work too but I recommend using a mixer if you have one.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. And if you haven't already, take your cream cheese out of the fridge to let it come to room temperature.
Make your brownie batter. In a large bowl, melt your butter in the microwave. Add in all of your semisweet chocolate, stir to coat your chocolate with the melted butter, and then place back into the microwave for another 15-30 seconds. Leave your mixture be for about a minute, and then use your whisk to combine your chocolate and butter fully.
Into your bowl, add in both sugars and continue to whisk.
Next, add your eggs one at a time, continuing to whisk and adding the next egg once the last is fully incorporated. Continue whisking until your batter lightens in color, a few minutes.
Add in your mint extract and whisk until fully incorporated.
At this point, you'll incorporate your dry ingredients. I recommend sifting in your flour, cocoa powder, and salt first. You can use a mesh strainer, lightly tapping the sides of the strainer with one hand while holding the handle in the other to sift in the dry ingredients clump free into your wet ingredients. Using a spatula or large spoon, fold your dry ingredients in. Move slowly here and be sure to only mix as much as necessary.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of your brownie mixture and set aside. Line a 9x9in square pan (or you can use an 8x8 pan and increase the cook time a bit) with parchment paper. I recommend ensuring all sides of the pan are lined, or you can lightly grease. Dollop your brownie mixture in and gently spread flat. You can use any flat tool, or even a spoon, to lightly spread your mixture so that it is even across your pan.
Meanwhile, make your mint topping. Into your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or you can use a large bowl and hand mixer, add all of your cream cheese. Turn your mixer on at a medium to high speed for 1-2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of your bowl and the paddle attachment.
Melt your white chocolate. You can do this in the microwave starting with 30 seconds, and then in intervals of 15 seconds mixing each time until it is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
To your mixer, Add in your milk and granulated sugar. Turn your mixer back on to a high speed for another minute.
Add in your melted white chocolate and continue to mix for about 30 seconds.
Next it's time for your mint extract and optional food coloring. I recommend starting with a half teaspoon of mint extract, mix to combine, and then taste. Continue to add extract (I found that a teaspoon in total was enough but 3/4 may work too) until you've reached your desired amount of mint. You should taste it but it should not be overpowering. If you want your topping to be green, add your food coloring one drop at a time and mix. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and give your topping one final mix.
Finish prepping and baking your brownies. Pour your mint topping over your brownie batter and spread evenly. Then, grab your reserved 1/2 cup of brownie batter and dollop it across the top of your mint topping (I do this in lines). Use a knife or sharp tool to mix your brownie batter through the top. Move slowly here but don't worry about it looking perfect. The goal is to create a swirled look.
Your oven should be heated to 350 degrees. Place your brownies into the oven for 30-35 minutes. You'll know it's done when you shake your pan and the topping still jiggles just slightly but is set around the edges. Once it's fully baked, allow your brownies to cool for about an hour or so at room temperature. For the easiest slicing, place your brownies into the freezer or fridge for a few hours (or overnight) before slicing.
When you're ready to slice, remove your brownies from the pan and cut into 16 squares. Once sliced, you can store the brownies in the fridge for about 5 days, or store in the freezer to eat any time! I think they taste great just out of the freezer, but I usually give them about 5-10 minutes at room temperature before enjoying.
Carb and serving info:
Carbs for full recipe: 446.5
Carbs per serving (1 of 16) : 28
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.