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When I was only four years old, we relocated from Wisconsin to Vermont, where I grew up until after I graduated college. Some of the kids I graduated high school with, I have known since pre-school. Several years after we moved to Vermont, a few mothers in my 2nd grade class got together to a organize a holiday cookie exchange. Twenty years later, it is still going on with most of the original moms and some new ones we have met along the way.
When I was little, I looked forward to the cookie exchange every Christmas. It meant a few things for me. I got to help my mom bake cookies and I had an excuse to see my friends on a school night. Plus I got to eat lots and lots of delicious homemade cookies. This year was the 20th anniversary of my Mom’s cookie exchange.
I thought it would be fun for my Mom and I to each make a recipe of her mother’s Mint Frosted Brownies on the weekend of the cookie exchange. Even though I am 3000 miles away, we constantly swap cooking advice, especially around this time of year. How do I make that again? These mint frosted brownies were one of my absolute favorite Christmas cookies that my grandmother used to make; I swear, this is how I became hooked on mint chocolate. Well Grandma’s recipe is true to it’s taste, the same way it was when I was a child.
The brownies are thick, the frosting is minimal and the ganache is a bite of sweet on top.
Mint Frosted Brownies
Make 1-1 ½ Dozen
3/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 C Vegetable Shortening
2 Squares unsweetened chocolate
1 C Sugar
1 tbsp Water
1 tsp Vanilla
2/3 C Chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
- Melt shortening and chocolate in the microwave in 20 second increments until melted. Stir until smooth.
- Stir in eggs, sugar and water. Then add to dry ingredients; beat well. Add vanilla and nuts.
- Bake in a greased 9” square pan for 25 minutes. Allow brownies to cool completely.
If you like a lot of frosting, double this recipe.
1 C Powdered sugar
2 tbsp Margarine (or butter at room temperature)
1 tbsp Cream (half and half or heavy cream)
1/4 tsp Mint extract
Green food coloring
- Blend confectionery sugar, margarine, cream and extract until well combined
- Add food coloring
- Frost cooled brownies and refrigerate for 1- 2 minutes to let the chocolate set
Chocolate Ganache glaze:
If you like a lot of chocolate, double this recipe
1 square (1 ounce) Unsweetened Chocolate
1 tsp Margarine or Butter
- Melt 1 square chocolate with 1 tbsp margarine in the microwave in 20 second increments until melted. Stir until smooth.
- Pour over one end of the pan and tilt to cause to flow the opposite side of the pan, spread with a knife or drizzle on top of brownies.
I asked my mom to share with me some pictures from the cookie exchange, since it was her turn to host this year. I was so bummed I couldn’t be there, my friends and I could use a mid-week play date. Happy holidays everyone!