Home made Mint Brownies By Gene Munson Barry
Rate my Brownie Recipe by Gene Munson Barry
My Variation of a Chocolate Brownie
I sort of use a regular "start from scratch" chocolate brownie recipe, and then do my thing to change them up a little.
Mint Brownies by Gene Munson Barry
- 2 Squares Chocolate, Unsweetened
- 1/4 Cup Butter, Good Quality
- 2 ea. Eggs, Fresh
- 1/8 tsp. Salt, Iodized
- 1/2 cup Walnut meats, Chopped (optional)
- 1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
- 1/2 cup Flour, Bleached
- 1 tsp. Vanilla, Extract
- 3/4 cup Mint, Leaves (chopped)
Ingredients assembled ready to use
What I Do to Begin
As with any food preparation, I always wash my hands before I begin, and a number of times while assembling whatever I'm going to cook or bake. This is good sensible practice to help prevent the spread of germs..
My wife had a day care business for small children while she was in Minnesota. The state instructor taught her that to really clean her hands, she should recite the whole alphabet while scrubbing with soap and water. It sounded like a good practice to me, so I wash accordingly.
I grow my own mint and harvest it throughout the summer. By doing the continual harvesting the mint keeps renewing itself so there is always plenty. After I have removed the stems, I use a hand chopper and chop the leaves into small pieces. These I pack into plastic storage containers (that I finish filling with water), and then freeze them for use on off season projects such as making the Mint Brownies say in the middle of February.
If unlike me you don't have the mint growing somewhere around accessible you could use store bought like I have shown here.
Prepare your Mint
I find that the stems don't chop into small enough pieces to not be obtrusive so I remove the stems before I attempt to use the leaves in the chopper. The stems don't carry as much flavor as the leaves and besides you wouldn't want anything too tough in the texture of your brownies.
Mint ready to be chopped
The photo here I show the mint de-stemmed and prepared to chop into small pieces for use in the brownie mixture.
The second photo here
In this next photo I show the mint by removing any stems and or blemished portions that I don't feel should be used. What I consider bad spots would constitute dry browned areas - anything not bright and green.
After I have sorted the mint leaves I utilize a small custard dish to contain the good mint leaves until I'm ready to chop them into small pieces to be used in the brownie mixture.
In the Olden Days
In the olden days before microwaves they would use a double boiler,(like I have shown here) to melt things like butter and in this case the bakers chocolate.
This is the way the double boiler worked. It had water in the lower portion which you heated to a boil. Then this heat would warm the upper pan but could not allow it to get hot enough to make what you were liquefying burn. Of course today these are not used much since microwave ovens can do the same thing quite well. The microwave is much simpler as well as being less messy and or wasteful of energy. Today I just placed the chocolate squares and butter in the bowl I was using to mix the brownie dough. I placed it in the microwave and heated it to melt. There was no waste because of the chocolate and butter staying on the sides and bottom of the pan.
In the photo to the right
In the photo below I show my mixing bowl with the melted chocolate and butter. I am adding sugar, vanilla, eggs, brown sugar and flour and then I will blend it all together.
Hand chopper ready to use
My next step
My next step is to use my hand chopper to chop the prepared mint leaves into small pieces. You wouldn't want whole leaves as they would not create a pleasing texture.
As I chop the mint
As I chop the mint I keep a 1 cup measuring cup handy to fill as the chopped mint accumulates. I pack if fairly tightly in the measuring cup.
After I have the correct amount of chopped mint, I then mix it into the brownie dough, making sure to distribute the mint evenly throughout the batter
Now would be a good time to begin to pre-heat your oven.
Once ingredients are all added
Once I have all the ingredients added and stirred together, I use my spatula to scrape all the batter into the 8 inch square baking dish.
Before pouring the completed batter into your baking dish, remember to either spray the dish with a good non-stick cooking spray, or as I do, use extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom and sides. You could also use butter or parchment paper to line the bottom and sides of the baking dish to prevent the final brownies from sticking.
I have a large spatula that is sort of formed like spoon and I have a flat full-sized spatula. Also, I have a flat spatula half their size. I prefer the half size spatula most of the time, but for this application I used the full size flat spatula.
Pour the batter
After I have all the batter scraped into the baking dish make sure that the mixture is distribuited evenly throughout the full area.
At this time
At this time you could add walnut pieces leaving them float on the top of the batter if you prefer. I personally don't care for walnuts so don't use them. Also the mint seems to be enough of a variation for me. I suppose that you could use other nuts like hazelnuts or add something like M&Ms even.
This next photo
My next photo I show the brownie mix all ready to be inserted into my pre-heated oven to bake.
Ready for the oven
Using my wooden oven tool
Using my wooden tool, I pull the oven rack out to make placing the brownie mixture into the oven easier. If you don't have one of these you could use a pot holder. If you have children that you need to find something for them to do as a project, you could purchase some inexpensive wood, and using a hand bow saw they could cut one out themselves.
Special kitchen tool
Still in high school
While in high school I had many different classes, one of which was wood class. One of our required projects was to make this wooden oven tool. You use it to pull and or push a hot oven rack in or out so as to not burn yourself.
This next photo
In my next photo I show the brownies in the oven ready to be baked. Bake about one hour in a slow oven (300 deg. F)
Ready to bake
As the brownies bake I check how they are coming along by using a tooth pick (poked in the middle) to make sure that nothing sticks to it after insertion and removal. If you find that the batter sticks when the tooth pick is removed then the brownies are still raw.
Remove the baked brownies
Remove the baked brownies from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled cut into 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch squares to be served. As a little something extra again, here you could sprinkle with colored sugar, use M&M's, or what ever kind of frosting you like. I sometimes prefer a delicious mint flavored white frosting or a really decadent fudge frosting.