Altoid Brownies

David Lebovitz’s recipes NEVER disappoint. This recipe is no exception. I immediately added it to my “to try” list when he first posted back in November. Chocolate and mint are 1 of my all-time favorite flavor combinations (right up there with chocolate and peanut butter). I followed the recipe more or less exactly. The resulting brownies are extremely fudgy and very minty (I did add peppermint extract). Note: Altoids are not vegetarian so feel free to sub another type of mint if you so choose.

11 ounces (315g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (60-75% cacao), chopped
8 ounces (215g) unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120g) packed dark brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pure mint extract
1 to 1½ packages of Altoid peppermints, (80-120g), crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line the inside of a 9 by 13-inch, or similar sized baking pan, with foil. Butter or spray lightly with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.

4. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, over the heat, whisk in both sugars. Remove from heat and whisk in three of the eggs completely, then whisk in the other two, along with the vanilla and mint extract, if using.

5. Sprinkle the flour mixture and the Altoids over the top and using a spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients until just combined; there might be just a trace of the flour in places. Do not overmix.

6. Scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Like most brownie recipes, it’s best to err on the side of underbaked than over.

Serving & storage: Once cool, wrap the brownies well. These brownies are even better the next day. Since the recipe makes quite a bit of brownies, extras can be cut into squares, wrapped, and frozen for a few months.