I am a big fan of peppermint and chocolate during the Holiday season (my Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cake is always enjoyed), as chocolate and mint have always been a favorite combination in the cold winter months. I like to include some kind of brownie in my cookie gift boxes, and decided to experiment with a Hot Chocolate version, full of chocolate, mint, and marshmallow.
After much testing, I decided to use my Cakey Brownies from 100 Cookies as the base; they are less rich than My Favorite Brownies so they work well with added ingredients. I added both a milk chocolate ganache and marshmallow fluff swirl, and then topped everything off with a dark chocolate drizzle and crushed peppermint.
Flavor Components of Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownies:
- Milk Chocolate & Marshmallow Cream Swirl: The milk chocolate ganache swirl is truly my favorite part of this brownie; the Ghirardelli Milk Wafers are delicious and compliment their Dark Wafers in the brownie base. Marshmallow adds a sweet note and contrasting color.
- Brownie Base: I use my Cakey Brownie Base from 100 Cookies; it is less rich and has great texture. I added peppermint extract to the base.
- Peppermint Candy: Your favorite crushed peppermint candy will work here; I use crushed candy canes or hard candies. Make sure to finely chop them, as biting into big chunks of hard peppermint is not pleasant.
The quality of the chocolate is the result of Ghirardelli’s commitment to control all steps of the chocolate-making process, from roasting the cocoa beans, to refining the product for smoothness and well-balanced flavor. In addition, the company understands that sustainable sourcing and knowing the origins of the cocoa beans speaks to the quality of the finished product.
How to Store Brownies:
Store brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Can I Freeze These Brownies?
Brownies can be frozen; store the brownies in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2 weeks.
More Brownie Recipes:
- Raspberry White Chocolate Brownies
- My Favorite Brownies
- Marshmallow Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Brownies
Milk Chocolate Swirl
- 1 ½ cups [213 g] all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups [300 g] granulated sugar
- ½ cup [100 g] brown sugar
- ½ cup [112 g] canola oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 6 oz [170 g] Ghirardelli Dark Wafers chopped
- 8 tablespoons [1 stick or 113 g] unsalted butter
- ¼ cup [25 g] Ghirardelli Majestic Cocoa Powder
- ½ cup [70 g] store-bought marshmallow fluff
- 2 oz [57 g] Ghirardelli Dark Wafers, melted and cooled
- Peppermint candy or candy canes crushed, for sprinkling
- 9×13 Baking Pan (do not use glass)
For the milk chocolate swirl
- Place the milk chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it is simmering and just about to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Remove the plastic and add peppermint extract. Whisk until completely smooth. Cool to room temperature.
For the brownies
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Grease a 9 x 13 in [23 by 33 cm] baking pan and line with a parchment sling.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated and brown sugars, oil, and vanilla.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over low heat and melt together, stirring frequently to prevent the chocolate from scorching. Continue cooking until the mixture is smooth. Off the heat, add the cocoa powder to the chocolate and whisk until completely combined.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the sugar-egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Dollop the milk chocolate ganache and the marshmallow cream over the top, alternating the two. Drag the tip of a knife through the batter, creating swirls. *see note
- Bake until the sides of the brownies have set, the top is starting to crackle and look glossy, and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with crumbs, 26 to 32 minutes. The batter on the toothpick should not be wet but should have a good amount of crumbs clinging to it.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Use the parchment sling to gently lift the brownies from the pan. If desired, decorate the top: Pour the warm, melted chocolate into a disposable piping bag (or small zip-top bag) and snip the end to make a small opening (for thin lines, the smaller the hole, the better). The chocolate will immediately want to start pouring out, so tip the end up unti you are ready to pipe, and be ready to pipe immediately). Quickly pipe the chocolate line lines across the brownie surface. Sprinkle the warm chocolate with the crushed peppermint, then let set. Cut into bars and serve. Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.