Wednesday Treat Day

It all started with a bag of Andes baking chips I bought on a whim at Walmart a few weeks ago.  I believe I went to Walmart for vitamins or socks, or something boring like that and, once again, found a way to sneak a few random items into my basket.  That seems to be the way I operate.  That whole ‘bring a list and stick to it’ tactic doesn’t work with me.

A few weeks ago, I made double chocolate cookies with Nestle’s dark chocolate/mint morsels; Craig’s co workers seem to enjoy them, so I figured they’d probably enjoy something with the similar tasting Andes mints.

But what to make?

 While reading one of my favorite baking blogs, I happened upon this recipe for mint brownies and decided to substitute Andes mints for the peppermint kisses.

The peppermint kisses are cute, but I had Andes mints waiting to be used.  Besides, you know as well as I do that a trip to store for peppermint kisses would only result in a cart load of stuff I really don’t need.

I prepared and baked the brownies according to the recipe’s directions but instead of topping with the chopped kisses, I sprinkled on the Andes mints.

It seemed like a good idea, but I was concerned about the meltage factor of the delicate mints.

I was right to be concerned.

No problem, though.  I grabbed my handy-dandy off-set spatula and spread the melted mints to cover the surface of the brownies, which formed a shiny coating.

Ooh, glossy pools of swirled minty goodness.

Once the melted chocolate had time to cool for a few minutes, I sprinkled on some additional mints. 

Sadly, patience in the kitchen isn’t my strong suit; I didn’t wait long enough  and the additional chips began to melt.  To counteract the meltage, I put the brownies in the refrigerator to help harden the topping.

Goodie number two for Wednesday treat day is white chocolate gingerbread blondies.  This is a Martha Stewart recipe which I’ve made a few times.  The first time I made these, I used the whole 2 1/2 sticks of butter the recipe called for, which yielded very buttery blondies.  There is nothing wrong with buttery blondies, but when I cooled them in the fridge, the butter on the bottom of the blondies congealed.  They tasted okay, but the congealed butter kind of turned me off.

Now I just use 2 sticks without any problems.

Spicy goodness.


The verdict?

The gingerbread blondies came out as expected.

A crispy layer on top;

chewy and a little gooey underneath.

The brownies are another story.

They came out a little more under baked then I would have liked.  The edges were done, but the very middle was a little too under done.  Even too under done for my liking.

Also,  the hardened Andes topping made cutting the brownies neatly almost impossible.

I rectified the gooey middle situation but simply cutting around it.  This yielded about eight brownies, which is better than chucking the whole batch, like I was tempted to do. 

And honestly?  The brownies weren’t my favorite.  Brownies are my favorite goodie, which makes me somewhat picky.  I like them chewy, not fudgy and never cakey.  This may surprise you, but I think I prefer boxed brownie mixes to homemade.  Homemade brownies are good when you’re incorporating cream cheese, oreos or peanut butter, but for a good, chewy brownie, boxed mix is where it’s at.   These were good, but not so good that I’d be tempted to eat the whole batch.  A blessing in disguise, I suppose.

But, maybe I’m just too hard on myself.  You know me and my crazy expectations.  Craig called around noon and told me the goodies were all gone.

If your official taste testers eat your offerings all up before lunchtime, I suppose that’s a success.



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