Peppermint Truffle Brownies

One thing I love about the holidays is using peppermint in treats! If you care craving brownies, YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE!
Peppermint Truffle Brownies

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1 stick + 2 tablespoons butter {10 tablespoons total}
1/4 cup milk chocolate {I used chips}
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 drops Spark Peppermint Essential Oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

For “Truffle” Topping
1/3 cup milk chocolate {or semi-sweet} chocolate chips
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons marshmallow fluff

For Garnish
1/4 cup smashed candy canes
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 inch pan by lining with overlapping sheets of parchment or foil. This will make it easier to lift the brownie out when it’s done.

2. In a large, heat-safe bowl, microwave butter and chocolate at 30 second intervals, whisking each time until melted and smooth.

3. To the chocolate/butter mixture, add sugar, vanilla extract, peppermint essential oil and eggs. Whisk together until smooth and well incorporated.

4. In another bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour and salt. Add to the wet mixture and fold together until just incorporated {try not to overmix}. The batter will be thick & sticky. Mix in the chocolate chips.

5. Spoon batter into your prepared pan and bake for 18-20 minutes until the top is just set and the edges look a bit puffed. These should be fudgy, so try not to overbake them.

6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, melt chocolate and heavy cream for your truffle topping by microwaving for 30 second intervals, stopping to mix until shiny and smooth. Once melted, add the marshmallow fluff and mix well until the mixture is uniform. Set aside to cool slightly.

7. When the brownie is ready, remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. {If the brownie is too hot, the ganache will melt and run all over the place.} One slightly cooled, pour the truffle topping over the brownie, smoothing out evenly over the top. Sprinkle with candy cane pieces.

8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour until the topping is set. This will make it easier to cut and get pretty pieces.{Note: I actually put mine in the freezer to speed up the process, then forgot about it and ended up with semi-frozen brownies, which actually made it easier to cut.} If you don’t care about how it looks, then feel free to dig in, just be prepared for some messiness!

9. Remove from the refrigerator and cut into squares. {These are rich so I kept my squares small. I got 16 pieces out of it.} If you want to garnish even further, drizzle or pipe the squares with melted semi-sweet chocolate before moving onto a serving platter.

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