Here’s a great one for the holidays (or anytime you want, really). It’s a mint chocolate brownie with peppermint buttercream frosting on top and creamy chocolate frosting on top of that.
And to simplify the cloning process a bit, we start with a common fudge brownie mix. By changing the required ingredients listed on the brownie mix box and adding some other modified steps, we can improve on the finished product. Rather than oil, use a stick of melted butter in your brownies for a richer, better flavor. And cook the brownies at a slightly lower temperature so that they come out moist and chewy. Since this recipe is for peppermint brownies, adding just a bit of peppermint extract will do the trick. The peppermint brownies from Starbucks have red and white frosting drizzled lightly across the top. To save time, buy premade red and white colored frostings that come in little cans (with tips included).
Peppermint Brownie (copycat Starbucks)
- one 19.5-ounce box fudge brownie mix (Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix works great)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate Frosting
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- one 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Decorative Icing
- 1 can white frosting (with fine tip)
- 1 can red frosting (with fine tip)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, then prepare a 9 x 9-inch baking pan by spraying it with a light coating of nonstick spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil to the same width as the bottom of the pan, but make it much longer than the pan so that the left and right ends go up and out of the pan on the left and right sides. This will create a “sling” that will help you lift the brownies out of the pan after they’ve baked.
Make the brownie batter by first sifting the box of ingredients. This will destroy any clumps. Add the melted butter, water, eggs, and peppermint extract and mix the batter by hand just until all the dry stuff is mixed in. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and bake it for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool before frosting.
Make the peppermint buttercream frosting by beating together 1 cup of powdered sugar and the softened butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. Mix in another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, then add the milk and the peppermint and vanilla extracts. Mix for about 1 minute to make the frosting smooth. Add an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin and light. You want a frosting that can be spread easily, yet it should be firm enough to hold up the layer of chocolate frosting that’s coming next. When the brownie has cooled, use a spatula to spread the frosting evenly over the top. Put the brownie in the fridge to firm up the buttercream frosting.
Make the chocolate frosting by bringing the whole milk and butter to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the chocolate chips into a heat-safe bowl. When the milk and butter comes to a boil, pour the mixture over the chocolate chips and let it all just sit there in the bowl for a couple minutes. Add the vanilla to the mixture and whisk until smooth. Use an electric mixer to beat in the powdered sugar until the frosting is smooth. Spread the chocolate frosting over the white frosting on the brownie.
Add the decorative red and white icing by first applying the white icing to the top of the cake in a sweeping motion diagonally across the top of the entire cake, then add the red icing over the white in the same sweeping motion in the same direction.