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Peppermint Brownie Bark

Have you ever heard of Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle [1]?  If you have, then you’ll understand my little addiction.  You know those crispy edges and baked –on splatters around the edge of the brownie pan – the ones you pick off and nibble on when nobody’s looking?    Well, Sheila G. figured out a way to create whole batches of just those crunchy bits, and Brownie Brittle was born.  Think of it as a paper thin, shatteringly crisp, intensely chocolaty wafer cookie – that tastes just like a brownie.    That Sheila G. is brilliant, I tell you – brilliant!  It’s like she does liposuction on a rich, fudgy brownie and sucks out all of the chewy, gooey stuff inside.    Her Brownie Brittle comes in little bags that reach out and grab you as you walk past them in the supermarket.  I kid you not.  They also taunt you their sultry, cocoa-laced voices.  “Come and get me, Hot Stuff!  You know you want to.”    Sigh…  But, at over four bucks a pop for a 4-ounce bag, there’s only so much seduction I can indulge in.

Once my frugal side kicked in, I did what any other self-respecting food blogger would do.  I went online to see if I could find the recipe.  Genius that she is, that Sheila G. is no fool either.  She must have her recipe locked up tighter than a drum, because I couldn’t find it.   And, I’m a Google maniac.  What I did find, however, were a couple of recipes that looked a lot like my beloved Brownie Brittle.  So I decided to pick one and give it a try.  

The original recipe I used came from Anna at Cookie Madness [2].  She calls it Brownie Bark [3].  In her recipe,  Anna adds chocolate chips to her batter like Sheila G. does.  Ordinarily, I would have done the same.  But since it’s (already) the Holiday season,  I thought I’d get a little festive and substitute peppermint chips.   These chips are made by Andes [4] – the company that makes those crème de menthe after dinner mints that you get in a lot of restaurants along with your check.   They look like crumbled up candy canes, only they’re soft and creamy like minty white chocolate.

I also tweaked a few of the other ingredients.  The second time around, I increased the sugar and cocoa powder because I wanted them to be sweeter and more chocolaty .

This recipe is very easy to whip up.  Everything is  basically mixed together in one bowl, and then spread very, very, very thinly on a baking sheet before baking.  The key word here is thinly.  In order for the brownie bark to be “brittle”, you have to make sure that you get that batter spread out as thinly as possible.  My first batch missed the mark.  My second try was a hit.

I’m not entirely sure what is is about Anna’s recipe that makes her bark a reasonable facsimile for Brownie Brittle, but it is.  I suspect that it has something to do with her use of egg whites instead of whole eggs.  She adds a little nonfat dry milk powder to the batter as well, which she says helps with the crispness.  Brownie Bark is not exactly the same as Brownie Brittle, but it’s pretty close – and it is really, really tasty.  Plus, it’s cheap to make and you can customize it with different kinds of chips, nuts or even toffee bits.  I’m thinking that it would also make a nice addition to your Holiday gift bags this year.  Yeah.  That’s me.  Always trying to make your lives a little bit sweeter.