A browniebabe wannabe

Browniebabe wannabes are popping up on food blogs at every turn, and I wanna be one too.

This recipe was given to me by my friend J. at university. As the president of our faculty's volunteer society, she frequently organized bake sale events to raise money for Kingston community organizations. Her Junior Mint Brownies were always the first to disappear from the tables of home baked goods and I always felt a little sorry for the poor bakers whose inferior brownies sat unpurchased long afterwards.

Put away your Valrhona and Scharffen Berger chocolate and your premisconceptions about what makes a good brownie, because this one's made with cocoa and candy and it tastes like a million bucks.

A layer of Junior Mints embedded in the batter makes for an especially moist and chewy chocolate mint crumb. But these brownies don't feel the need to show off their minty flavour with a silly mint leaf garnish or garish green icing. Nope, they're content to blend in with the rest of the crowd and let their taste do the talking.

Humility, I like that in a brownie.

Junior Mint Brownies

5 1/2 ounces Junior Mints
1 1/2 cups butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
5 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, and whisk until well blended.

Sift in cocoa powder and stir to combine. Add flour, baking powder and salt and blend well.

Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Arrange Junior Mints in a single layer over batter. Carefully spread the remaining batter on top, covering the Junior Mints. Use a knife or spatula to smooth the top of the batter.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.

Notes: If you just can't bear to have your mint brownie look like all the rest, use mini York Peppermint Patties instead of Junior Mints. Part of the white mint will remain unmelted, so your brownies will have a nice white stripe in the centre when you slice them into squares.

Source: J.