Easy Peppermint Brownies

These peppermint brownies are the perfect holiday treat for your family! They come together in one bowl and you’ll have them in the oven in 10 minutes. The hardest part will be waiting for them to cool!

White platter filled with sliced homemade peppermint brownies garnished with crushed candy canes

How do I make peppermint brownies?

You’ll start by melting a whole stick of butter, then combining it with a big scoop of sugar. Just an FYI, the best brownies ALWAYS start with butter and sugar…

Then you’ll mix in eggs, peppermint extract and the secret ingredient – COFFEE! The coffee will give the chocolate a little more depth of flavor and what mom doesn’t have a cup of joe chillin’ at room temp from this morning? Be honest – how many times have you microwaved your caffeinated beverage today?

Then you’ll add the usual suspects – flour, cocoa powder and salt. Along with a big scoop of crushed candy canes! This will give you a little bit of candy cane in each bite and tons of peppermint flavor. 

Collage of four photos showing a white bowl and a wooden spoon with a hand mixing butter and sugar, then eggs and coffee, then adding flour and cocoa powder

Do I need a mixer to make brownies?

Nope! These brownies come together in one bowl and can be easily mixed with a wooden spoon or spatula. No fancy kitchen gadgets needed here!

It’s also important not to over mix the batter, so I’d recommend leaving the modern conveniences behind for this recipe and just stick to a bowl and a good mixing spoon!

Collage of four photos showing a white bowl with brownie batter being mixed, then crushed candy canes being stirred in and finally the brownie batter in a square baking dish lined with parchment paper

Where can I find peppermint extract?

Peppermint extract is located right near the vanilla extract in the baking aisle at your grocery store. 

Overhead shot of homemade peppermint brownies sliced into squares with mini candy canes sprinkled around them

What makes cocoa powder better than chocolate in a brownie recipe?

The combination of cocoa powder and butter gives these brownies the most rich, luxurious flavor with the perfect chewy texture. This combination of flavor and texture is not achievable with melted chocolate. 

Melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder in a brownie recipe will almost always give you a fudgier (not a word, I know) texture.  I am not a fudge fan and prefer a chewier brownie. 

Overhead view of a stack of peppermint brownies with the rest of the sliced brownies in the background

How do I know when brownies are done?

The line between under baked and over baked is a thin one when it comes to brownies. I always err on the side of caution and pull them from the oven before I think they’re done. 

They will continue to bake in the pan even after they have been removed from the oven. And since you’re leaving them in the pan to cool, they’ll continue to bake for quite a while. 

While you can’t use the traditional “clean toothpick” trick that you can with cakes, you can still use a toothpick to help you decide when to pull them from the oven.

If you stick a toothpick in the center of the pan and it comes out with goopy batter, that tells you the brownies are not done.

If you stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out with several moist crumbs, they’re done and need to get out of the oven ASAP. 

If you stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean, your brownies are over baked. But they’ll still taste delicious! They just may have a bit of a drier texture. 

It’s also really important to remember that all ovens bake differently. So stay close to the oven and keep an eye on things. Check the brownies after 15 minutes and use your best judgement from there. 

When the top of the brownies are set and the edges start to pull away from the pan, that’s also a good indication that your brownies are done. 

Stacked peppermint brownies garnished with crushed candy canes

Can I make candy cane brownies ahead of time?

Yes! The brownies should really cool for at least an hour or two before serving, so it’s ideal that you do make them at least a few hours ahead of time. 

You can store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week. But clearly, they will never last that long!

Can I freeze peppermint brownies?

Sure! Freeze baked and cooled brownies in an airtight container for up two months. The day before eating them, thaw for 12-24 hours in the fridge. I cannot guarantee that they will taste exactly the same as fresh baked brownies, but they’ll be pretty dang close!

Print

Easy Peppermint Brownies


  • Author: Midwest Foodie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 brownies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These peppermint brownies are the perfect holiday treat for your family! They come together in one bowl and you’ll have them in the oven in 10 minutes. The hardest part will be waiting for them to cool!


Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup crushed candy canes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl stir together butter and sugar until combined.

  2. Stir in eggs, coffee and peppermint extract until combined.

  3. Then add flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix until just combined.

  4. Fold in half of the crushed candy canes.
  5. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and pour batter into the pan. Use a spatula to spread it in an even layer.

  6. Sprinkle the brownies with most of the remaining crushed candy canes, reserving a 1/2 tablespoon or so to sprinkle on after they have baked if desired.

  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to pull away from pan and the center is set.

  8. Sprinkle with remaining crushed candy canes and let cool for at least an hour before slicing.

     

Keywords: easy, simple, recipe, kid, holiday, family, dinner, dessert, candy cane, mint, coffee

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