I first made these brownies just for something to do on a Sunday night, and as a way of using up some odds and ends in our pantry. It wasn’t until after I made them – and after I began seeing all these St. Patrick’s Day blog posts and feeling the pressure – that I realized how perfectly these brownies fit into this time of year, in more ways than one.
How are these Deep Chocolate Mint Swirl Brownies with Thin Mint Crunch the brownies of the season? Let me count the ways:
1) St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone’s doing it – posting recipes including mint, beer, the color green, or some combination of all three. I don’t really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but of course I want to participate in an internet-wide holiday! I don’t drink beer, nor do I typically keep chemical additives to make my food an unnatural shade of green in my pantry. This leaves me with one option for St. Paddy’s Day: mint flavored food. (BTW: these brownies do include a touch of green, but it’s hidden deep within all the chocolate. There’s avocado in the batter, subbing for some of the fat found in traditional brownies. Shh…don’t tell anyone picky about our secret green ingredient!)
2) Girl Scout Cookies. ‘Tis the season! I always look for creative uses of the multitudes of cookies that flow into our house during this time of year – otherwise my dad would be gobbling them all up by the boxful! I used Thin Mint pieces as a crunchy topping for these rich, moist, and intensely chocolate brownies.
3) Springtime. The color of pretty flowers /artificially dyed Easter eggs is apparent in the pink swirl in the batter. Where does the pink come from, you ask? I’ll tell you, if you promise not to judge: the Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses that have been haunting our freezer since the winter holidays. Yes, I know candy cane flavor doesn’t exactly scream”springtime,” but look at it this way: getting those candies out of my freezer is a form of spring cleaning! (Oh, if only all housework could be accomplished by baking brownies!)
4) Warm weather. As spring and summer arrive, we naturally want to eat foods that help us keep cool, rather than warm our insides like all those piping hot baked goods we enjoyed during the cold winter months. These brownies are perfect for warm weather, as they taste great chilled and keep well for a week or more in the fridge. I recommend serving them up with cool whipped cream or a scoop of fro-yo for the ultimate indulgent treat! And don’t worry about these brownies getting in the way of any summer slim-down plans – they are flourless, low fat, and quite low-calorie at only 190 calories for 1/8 of the entire recipe, or around 100 for 1/16.
5) Passover. It’s coming up, and for those who observe this eight-day-long holiday that involves restrictions on the consumption of grains and other food items, it can be a challenge to find kosher-for-Passover recipes that are also delicious and healthy. Boxed Passover cake mixes are sold, but these are usually high in sugar and full of weird ingredients. Many also don’t actually turn out as gorgeous and delicious as the packaging would suggest. Instead of putting your dessert in the hands of some scamming cake mix company, I recommend baking your own desserts from scratch, using your own hands and recipes you trust. This recipe, for instance, is a trustworthy one (because I said so!) and the base recipe for the batter includes no flour. Some changes may still have to be made to the leavening agent, as I used baking powder which isn’t kosher for Passover, but in general I was thrilled to be making progress towards finding a flourless chocolate brownie recipe with Passover around the corner. Maybe the recipe will inspire you to make something like this for Passover. Serve it at the Seder to all your health-conscious guests. Enjoy it throughout the eight days, and remember the suffering of our ancestors (and contemporaries!) who had to make do with second-rate Passover cake from a mix.
These brownies truly are a recipe of the season. So go ahead and make them now! Click here for the full recipe: Deep Chocolate Mint Swirl Brownies with Thin Mint Crunch. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, have a great weekend, and enjoy your brownies!
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