We’ve been a little obsessed lately with spiked hot chocolate and I have been wanting to take that idea and riff on a good brownie recipe. I headed over to one of my favorite baking blogger sites to look for a brownie recipe to use as a base. David Lebovitz’s blog is a great resource for reliable desert recipes and often provides for an entertaining and insightful read while I am looking.
Sure enough, he had a great recipe I could use as a base. I liked the idea of using cocoa in the brownie mix, I think it feels a little richer and nuttier to taste and also that this recipe calls for brown sugar, which is also a little richer. I actually substituted with Turbinado since I had it.
To mimic my hot chocolate, I added some Peppermint Schnapps to the recipe.
I added 5 ozs to my batch, but you can add to your taste. Keep in mind the flavour fades slightly once the brownies are baked.
I also wanted to add in some cinnamon heart candies as a nod to Valentines Day and thought they would add a spicy kick to the batch.
I tried to find a way to have the candies stick to the top, so I ended up whipping up some simple icing and used a base of Fireball Whiskey as my liquid to give it a little punch.
Finally, I pulverized the cinnamon hearts in my Vitamix and used the “cinnamon heart powder” to dust the final product. Lastly, another change I made was to bake them in an 8 X 8 pan instead of the called for 9 X 13. I thought that by making the brownies taller, they would present with a little more drama and sophistication.
Needless to say, these brownies were a total hit, yummy and luscious with a great spicy kick. They are definitely going on my Valentines Day line up. Try them and let me know what you think.
Peppermint Schnapps Brownies with Fireball Whiskey Icing and Dusted Cinnamon Hearts
(adapted from David Lebovitz’s Baked Brownie Recipe)
11 ounces bitterswee chocolate, chopped
8 ounces unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 flour
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons dark, unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Camino)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Turbinado sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces pepper mint schnapps
Makes one 8 X 8-inch pan
2 tbsps Fireball Whiskey
3 tbsps icing sugar – start with this but keep adding to liquid until desired stiffness
3 handfuls cinnamon hearts – blitzed in the blender
heart shaped cookie cutters
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line the inside of a 8 by 8-inch, or similar sized baking pan, with foil. Butter.
2. In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
4. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, over the heat, whisk in both sugars. Remove from heat and whisk in three of the eggs completely, then whisk in the other one, along with the vanilla and schnapps.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the top and using a spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients until just combined; there might be just a trace of the flour in places. Do not overmix.
6. Scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Like most brownie recipes, it’s best to err on the side of underbaked than over.
7. Once cooled, use your heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes, various sizes if desired.
Serving & storage: Once cool, wrap the brownies well. These brownies are even better the next day. Since the recipe makes quite a bit of brownies, extras can be cut into squares, wrapped, and frozen for a few months.
Too assemble and serve:
1. Mix whiskey and sugar together. Whisk until set. Add extra icing sugar if necessary to reach desired stiffness.
2. Ice brownies and sprinkle with cinnamon heart dust.
Note: once brownies are iced and dusted they will last about 6 hours before cinnamon heart dust absorbs liquid and loses its texture