This is truly an old favorite with a completely new dimension. Infusing the batter with fragrant fresh mint leaves is a simple technique that complements the chocolate with a depth and intensity of flavor that can't be achieved with an oil or extract. Frosted mint leaves garnish the top of each brownie to provide a natural finish with a taste that is indisputably the real thing.
- 1 1/2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
- 1/2 TEASPOON SALT
- 3/4 TEASPOON BAKING SODA
- 6 OUNCES UNSALTED BUTTER
- 4 OUNCES UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE, COARSELY CHOPPED
- 2 TABLESPOONS WATER
- 1/2 CUP FINELY CHOPPED FRESH MINT
- 2 CUPS GRANULATED SUGAR
- 4 LARGE EGGS, LIGHTLY BEATEN
- CANDIED MINT LEAVES:
- ORGANIC FRESH MINT LEAVES, AT LEAST 1 LEAF PER BROWNIE
- 1 EGG WHITE, LIGHTLY BEATEN UNTIL FOAMY
- 3/4 GRANULATED SUGAR
Before baking: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees f. Press a sheet of aluminum foil to cover the outside bottom and sides of a 9 by 2-inch square pan. Lift off the foil, invert the pan, and gently press the foil into the pan to fit the contours.
To make the brownies: Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda onto a piece of waxed paper; set aside. In a small, heavy saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over very low heat, stirring with a silicone spatula until smooth. Or, combine in a medium microwavc-safe bowl and melt in a microwave oven at 50 percent power (medium) for 30-second bursts, stirring after each burst, until melted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the water, and then stir in the mint. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Press the chocolate mixture through a medium-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard the mint. Stir in the sugar and then the eggs just until thoroughly blended. Add the flour mixture, stirring until well blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with the spatula. Bake the brownie until the top is no longer shiny and a thin crust appears, 42 to 45 minutes. Don't ovcrbake; the brownie will firm as it cools. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
To make the Candied Mint Leaves: Gently rinse the leaves and pat thoroughly dry with paper toweling. Select a baking sheet that will fit in your refrigerator and line it with aluminum foil; set aside. Have the egg white and sugar ready in separate small bowls. Using a small, clean paint brush or pastry brush, and working with 1 leaf at a time, lightly coat the leaf with the egg white. Immediately sprinkle the leaf lightly on both sides with the sugar, or dip both sides into the bowl of sugar to coat lightly. As the leaves are coated, place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Let dry in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
To serve, using the edges of the foil as handles, lift the brownie slab onto a cutting board. Using a santoku or other sharp knife, cut the slab into 2-inch squares. Top each brownie with a candied leaf. To store after cutting, return the brownies to the pan, cover with aluminum foil, scaling the foil around the edges of the pan, and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Print this recipe