Peppermint Hot Cocoa Brownies

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr (plus 2 hr setting)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 24 brownies
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For the brownies:

Cooking spray

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces

6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole milk

For the Topping:

2 1/4-ounce packages unflavored gelatin powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Cooking spray

Crushed peppermint candies, for topping


  1. Make the brownies: Preheat the oven to 325˚. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; coat with cooking spray. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and milk chocolate in a pot over medium-low heat, stirring. Remove from the heat and whisk in both sugars. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and milk. Gently whisk in the flour mixture until just combined. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely in the pan. Lift out of the pan using the foil overhang.
  4. Meanwhile, make the topping: Combine the gelatin, salt and 1/4 cup water in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Let sit 2 minutes. Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the sugar syrup. Gradually increase the speed to high; beat until thick and fluffy, 12 to 14 minutes. Beat in both extracts.
  5. Coat a rubber spatula with cooking spray; spread the topping on the brownies. Sprinkle with peppermint candies and let set, about 2 hours. Cut into pieces using a knife coated with cooking spray.
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