I remember the first Christmas I celebrated with my husband and his family. Ian had shared stories of his favorite traditions and especially of his favorite Christmas treats. Every year my mother-in-law makes numerous desserts, chief among them Grandma Jean’s famous mint brownies — Ian’s professed favorite. The brownies are soft and fudgy, topped with a creamy mint frosting and a rich chocolate ganache. And today, I’m sharing the recipe with you!
My mother-in-law has never made this recipe gluten free, but I knew it could easily be done by substituting the flour. Feel free to follow my lead or use your regular all-purpose flour. My husband has tried both varieties and is a fan of both! (This is the flour I swear by.)
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Grandma Jean’s original recipe calls for mixing all of the ingredients together at the same time. For me, it’s easier to combine the ingredients incrementally instead of all at once. The all-at-once method yields a gooier brownie and the incremental method yields a spongier brownie. Both varieties are soft and fudgy, so choose your own adventure!
A quick note about Hershey’s syrup. Guys, the 24 oz. bottle is so misleading! There is barely 16 oz. of syrup in a 24 oz. bottle. Keep that in mind when buying your ingredients.
The original recipe also calls for mint extract, but I could only find peppermint extract. Ian assures me that it tastes the same.
Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before smoothing on the frosting. Mine cooled after an hour and a half. Once frosted, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Make the chocolate ganache topping in the microwave. Be careful not to overheat it, or the chocolate will become hard, gloppy and impossible to spread. This is the process I used:
- Chop the butter into tablespoons. Melt the butter and chocolate chips for 45 seconds at full power. Stir.
- Melt for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir.
- Continue melting in 15-second intervals at 50% power, stirring after each, until smooth.
Pour the melted chocolate on top of the chilled frosting layer, smoothing with an offset spatula. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Remove the brownies from the pan using the parchment paper. Cut the brownies into 24 squares using a serrated knife. (You can also cut them into smaller servings. I don’t recommend any larger because these are rich!)
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy Grandma Jean’s mint brownies as much as my family does. Tag me @rosesandwhiskers on Instagram if you try this recipe and use the hashtag #rosesandwhiskers. Happy baking! 🙂
Grandma Jean's Mint Brownies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 16 oz. Hershey's syrup
- 1 cup gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour or substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full brownies
MInt Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp mint or peppermint extract
- 2 tbsp whole milk or water
- 3 to 4 drops green food coloring
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Grease a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until completely incorporated, and then mix in the chocolate syrup. Add the flour and mix until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- OR beat all ingredients together at once until the batter is smooth. This method produces a slightly gooier brownie. (The other method produces a slightly spongier brownie.) Personally, I prefer adding the ingredients incrementally. It's easier for me to combine everything that way. But the original recipe calls for combining everything all at once.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool the brownie layer completely in the pan.
Adding the Mint Buttercream Layer
- Make the frosting while the brownies are cooling. Cream the butter until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar, mint extract, milk (or water) and food coloring until combined. Then cream on high speed until smooth and fluffy.
- Spread the frosting evenly on top of the cooled brownies with an offset spatula and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Topping with Chocolate Ganache
- Start the ganache after the frosting layer has chilled for 30 minutes. Melt the butter and chocolate chips in the microwave in a microwave-safe container. I recommend cutting the butter into tablespoons so that it melts more quickly. Melt for 45 seconds at full power, and stir. Then melt for 30 seconds at half power, and stir. Continue in 15-second intervals at half power until melted and smooth. Don't overheat!
- Take the brownies out of the fridge and pour the ganache on top of the chilled frosting. Smooth with an offset spatula. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- After an hour, take the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into 24 bars with a serrated knife. Frequently wipe the knife clean while cutting. Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy!