Hmmm…tea or brownies? Tea and brownies? How about tea in brownies! If you love tea and you LOVE brownies (who doesn’t love brownies? ) this recipe is for you. Dense fudgy,dark chocolate laden brownies spiked with an earthy mint flavor reminiscent of your favorite cup of tea. It’s a chocolate and mint lovers dream. This special brownie was inspired by a recipe that I pulled out of a magazine years ago, filed away for future use and promptly forgot about. For ten years. Yup, the date at the bottom of the page says August/September 2002. Wow, I guess I should go through my recipe file more often. The funny part is that when I saved the recipe I didn’t know it had tea in it. I thought it was just your normal mint brownie made with peppermint extract. The main reason I saved it all these years was because of the pretty marbled white chocolate glaze that covered the brownie. It wasn’t until I read through the ingredients and spotted the tea that I realized what a special recipe this was. Despite my initial excitement, in the end I used the tea portion of the recipe and a modified version of the glaze, but not much else. The reason? It called for 2 1/2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar!!! Granted, the recipe made a 9 x 13-inch pan of brownies which is pretty big, but even cut in half this recipe has more butter and sugar than any brownie would ever need. I have a brownie recipe from Cooking Light that I often use as a base for any brownie that I create. It’s thick and fudge-like with lots of chocolate flavor but only 5 tablespoons of butter and a mere 3/4 cup of sugar. Lots of indulgent flavor but no so many indulgent ingredients.
The tea I used was Yogi Purely Peppermint, but any herbal peppermint tea will do. I like the Yogi brand because they have a whole line of teas for specific aliments like Bedtime tea, Calming tea and my favorite Throat Comfort. I swear this is the best remedy for a sore throat out there. Beside their awesome teas, the other thing I love about the Yogi brand is that each tea bag comes with an inspirational message. And who couldn’t use a little inspiration with their tea…or their brownies?
The recipe instructions said to grind the sugar and tea leaves together in a food processor. Honestly, I’m not totally convinced that this step is necessary. My tea leaves were pretty well ground to begin with and I’m pretty sure that simply stirring the sugar and tea together would have produced the same result. But I did it anyway. I did it because when trying something new I‘m often struck with a debilitating fear that if I don’t follow the directions exactly I will be doomed to imminent failure. Let’s just say that in this case I took one for the team. I ground that sugar and tea so that you wouldn’t have to. Or go ahead and grind…who am I to tell you to break the rules?
Grinding or no grinding, the end result is a thick, fudge-like batter laced with a refreshing minty aroma.
I had mine with what else… a mug of hot steaming tea.
Peppermint Tea Dark Chocolate Brownies
inspired by Cooking Light and Fine Cooking
Makes 16 small or 12 medium brownies
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon peppermint tea (from 1 teabag)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces dark chocolate
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup milk
2 egg yolks
2 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1 ounce white chocolate
~1 tablespoon milk
green food coloring (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Cut the paper long so it overhangs the edge of the dish on two sides. This will make it easy to remove the brownies before frosting.
2. In a medium bowl sift together the flours, cocoa and salt. In a food processor grind together the sugar and tea, add to the flour mixture. (This step can be skipped if you don’t have a food processor, just add the sugar and tea to the flour mixture and combine).
3. Place 2 ounces of dark chocolate and 5 tablespoons of butter cut into pieces in a small bowl. Microwave on high for about one minute in 20 second intervals. Stir between each interval. When the chocolate and butter are melted stir in the peppermint extract. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, egg and egg yolks. Add to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated. Fold in the chocolate mixture until just combined. The batter will be thick.
5. Pour into the prepared pan and tap on the counter to level. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool. After about ten minutes pull the parchment edges and lift the brownies out of the pan. Let cool completely before frosting (about 1 hour).
6. When the brownies are cool melt the remaining 2 ounces of dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon of butter using the same method of 20 second intervals for about 1 minute total. Set aside and melt the white chocolate with a scant tablespoon of milk. Add more milk if needed until the white chocolate is the right consistency to drizzle over the brownies in a thin line. Add the food coloring one drop at a time until the desired green color is achieved. When both chocolates are melted pour the dark chocolate over the brownies and spread smooth. Drizzle the white chocolate over top in straight lines and drag a toothpick through the chocolate in alternating directions. Put the brownies in the fridge to cool for at least 2o minutes. Remove and cut into 12 or 16 pieces.