One of my all time favorite flavors this time of year is peppermint! It's refreshing and light and is great on its own, but is even better when paired with chocolate.
These Peppermint Brownies are rich and fudgy and their peppermint flavored frosting is fluffy, light, and refreshing. A sprinkling of crushed peppermint on top gives them a nice crunch. Trust me, you'll definitely want more than just one!
Now let's bake! Start off by lining an 8 or 9 inch square pan with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350º.
Next, heat butter and chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring it until it melts. Go ahead and transfer the chocolate mixture to a stand mixer, add sugar and peppermint extract, and mix on medium until it is well blended.
Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt to the chocolate mixture and mix just until combined.
Carefully pour the batter into the pan and smooth it out until it is even. The batter will be thick. Bake brownies for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of it comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes on a cooling rack before gently running a knife around the edges of the pan and gently lifting them out of the pan by the parchment paper.
Next, you'll get started on the peppermint frosting. Cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. With the mixer on low, slowly add in spoonfuls of confectioners sugar followed by the peppermint extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix until light and fluffy, being careful not to overmix.
Carefully spread the frosting on top of the brownies and top them off with finely crushed peppermint. If you're using candy canes, you'll need about three in total.
To get the cleanest cut edges, I recommend chilling the brownies once you top them with the cream cheese frosting, but before you add the peppermint on top since it will start to dissolve in the fridge. Let the cream cheese frosting firm up in the fridge for about 15 minutes before topping with the crushed peppermint.
Now cut the brownies into four rows. Turn and cut into another four rows to make sixteen squares. Brownies will keep for a few days stored in the fridge, but peppermint will dissolve in the fridge so save extra for retouching.