These rich dark chocolate Peppermint Brownies are topped with cream cheese frosting, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, and candy cane bits to make them the perfect holiday indulgence!
For the brownies
- 3 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate chunks/chips
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the ganache
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks/chips
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 small candy canes, broken into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray an 8×8 pan with baking spray.
- Melt the chocolate. Add the butter and chocolate chunks to a large, microwave safe bowl. Heaat for 30 seconds on high power. Remove and stir. Heat for another 30 seconds. Stir again until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Make the batter. Add the sugar to the melted chocolate. Stir until combined. Add the cocoa, espresso powder and vanilla. Stir again until combined. Add the eggs one by one, stirring after each addition. Add the flour and salt, stir until incorporated. The batter will be thick.
- Bake the brownies. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool completely.
- Make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds until the sugar starts to blend. Continue to beat on high for another 30 seconds or so. Spread the frosting on top of the brownies. If you want a neater presentation, you may want to remove the brownies from the pan before frosting.
- Make the ganache. In a small microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate and the heavy cream. Microwave for 45 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave and whisk together until all of the chocolate is melted. Drizzle the chocolate over the brownies and top with the candy canes bits.
- You can either serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use. If you are going to save them until the next day wait to add the candy cane bits until just before serving.
- Cooking time will vary based on your oven and the type of pan you use (glass, metal or ceramic).
- If you prefer more cakey brownies you’ll want to bake them a little longer, just be careful not to let the edges burn.
- The prep time noted includes time for the brownies to cool.
Keywords: Holiday desserts, Christmas desserts