March 29, 2010

My Quest for the Best Brownies Volume 2: Mint Frosted Brownies with Sea Salt

I love brownies.  Who doesn’t?  I have never met anyone who could turn down the offer of a brownie.  Have you?  Impossible!  Alas, my quest for the most delectable brownie continues.  As you may remember from Volume 1 of this saga, what was promised to be a super fudgy brownie wound up being only moderately fudgy.  How disappointing!  So it was time to take the quest for brownie perfection in a new direction… frosted!

To celebrate the season, I whipped up a mint frosting.  Spring always puts me in the mood for mint.  Much to my dismay, I didn’t have any fresh mint on hand, so I substituted mint extract.  Sure, the lack of green specks of fresh mint in the frosting isn’t as visually appealing or as bright in flavor, but still satisfying nonetheless.  But the special twist that makes these brownies especially good is the sprinkle of sea salt on the frosting.  I recently discovered how a light touch of salt can enhance the flavor depth of almost any sweet dish.  Try it!  Add a dash of sea salt to your next batch of chocolate chip cookies just before baking.  Or take a chance with these minty brownies.  I promise you’ll never look at salt the same way again.  And while these brownies are quite good (and easy to make – all in one large pot), I still believe that the ultimate brownie remains out there, waiting to be discovered.  What do you think?

Mint Frosted Brownies with Sea Salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder

Mint Frosting
4 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp vanilla
1 tsp pure mint extract

To make the brownies, begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Remove from heat and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Stir to combine.  Beat in the cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder.  Spread into a greased and floured 8-inch baking pan.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

For the frosting, beat the butter and sugar until creamy.  Feel free to adjust the amount of confectionars’ sugar to achieve the appropriate consistency of frosting.  Add the vanilla and mint extracts and stir until thoroughly incorporated.  When the brownies are cool, slice and frost.  I used a round biscuit cutter for a fun kick.  Delicious in any shape!

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