Every summer, I grow lots of herbs on my balcony. I can’t wait for the day I have a yard so I can have a garden! But until then, I’m content with my low-maintenance substitute. My choice of herbs varies from year to year, but this year I have Thai basil, Greek oregano, catnip, and peppermint growing happily on my balcony. I always grow mint but never really do much with it aside from making copious batches of mint water, mint iced tea, etc. Sometimes I make fruit salad with mint dressing or a vinaigrette with mint, but more often than not, my mint kind of goes to waste. Except for the smell. I just LOVE the smell of fresh mint. Don’t you?
One thing I’ve always wanted to do is make a chocolate dessert with fresh mint, and last weekend, I finally got around to it! These brownies are not overwhelmingly minty–nothing like those over the top, ooey gooey Andes Mint Brownies that are super popular. I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about! Those are good, but these are something extra special. There’s nothing artificial tasting here! Just fudgy, frosted cocoa brownies with a hint of mint. They’re refreshing and super tasty!
But enough about the mint… the brownies deserve some love too, right? I’ve tried quite a few homemade brownie recipes. They’ve either been too cakey, too dry, too complicated, too expensive [as in: half a pound of butter, half a pound of chocolate, etc. etc. etc.]. I don’t mind spending money on a recipe if it’s going to be good, but if it’s gonna flop…? Ugh, I might as well buy a box! But these… these brownies are perfect every time! I’ve made these fudgy cocoa brownies with frosting several times and always have been impressed with their chewy texture and consistency. Most people are shocked to hear that they’re just made with cocoa and not chocolate chips or bars… or a box! For the brownie AND the frosting. They’re just the best–and I know I’m not eating a bunch of chemicals! Win win! No one will be able to resist them!
For this batch of Fudgy Fresh Mint Brownies, I changed Jen’s base recipe just a tad to use coffee instead of milk in the frosting. I also added some coffee to the brownie batter to add some extra moisture since I threw in a bunch of fresh mint leaves. Speaking of the mint leaves… I chopped them up veryyy finely and baked ‘em right in. You can hardly tell, unless you cut into one on the edges. If the thought of that bothers you, you could a) blend the batter with a blender or b) let the mint steep in the melted butter for awhile to infuse it, then drain it out through a fine sieve. I actually tried to do that second option, but made the mistake of also adding the sugar and found it was too thick to efficiently strain out. No matter your method, the end result is fabulous. I think these would make some pretty terrific brownie sundaes! Oh, and btw… these brownies are so fudgy and moist that they aren’t dried out, even a week later, if they’re kept tightly covered. I mean, they probably won’t last that long, but for the record it’s good to know! Enjoy! :)
for the brownies
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee, optional
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
for the frosting
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee [or milk]
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
Melt butter in a saucepan set over low heat. Add sugar and mint and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and coffee, then add in cocoa powder, flour, and baking powder. Spoon into prepared pan.
Bake for about 25 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool. Do not overbake!
Make frosting by stirring together butter, honey, coffee, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Spread on brownies while they are still warm–I like to wait about 10 minutes so they aren’t super hot. Cool completely to set frosting, then cut into bars to serve.
Time: 45 minutes + time to cool.
Yield: 9 servings.