Brownies are the classic American dessert. Okay well except chocolate chip cookies. And apple pie. And chocolate covered bacon. Okay gross, maybe American’s have bad taste.

I have a friend who found out last year that she has Celiac’s, so now she eats gluten-free. Last week we had a get together and I made these gluten-free Dark Chocolate Brownies. When she walked in, my mom and I were just scraping the batter into the pan and told her she could lick the bowl (half the fun of making brownies, right?)

She stopped. She stared. Are you serious? You’re making gluten-free brownies? She started tearing up. I’m not joking. She came over and hugged us and told us that she couldn’t even remember the last time she’d had a brownie. I was totally laughing at her, (she was too, don’t worry I’m not heartless) but when I stop to think about it, I would cry too if you told me I could have a brownie after a year of eating sub-par desserts.

When I was little my mom made these mint brownies* every year for Thanksgiving. Our family was solely in charge of dessert, and my mom took her job very seriously. A huge pan of these mint brownies (a favorite of Aunt Pauline’s), a lemon meringue pie (or 2), blackberry pie, (definitely 2), pumpkin pie, pecan pie, homemade Reeses bars…and those were just the yearly staples.

I love these mint brownies, and not just because they are nostalgic for me. They are rich and chocolatey and minty and everything that I love. Try not to accidentally quadruple the mint extract, because then you will have a thick layer of toothpaste on your brownies instead of delicious mint frosting. (I was halving the recipe and forgot to half the mint. Good thing I really like mint.)

Mint Chocolate Brownies

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Makes 20 brownies

Brownie Base: 
1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz) brownie mix (for a 9×13 inch pan
Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
(or use your favorite brownie recipe*)

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons whipping cream
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
2 drops green food color, if you want

1/3 cup whipping cream
1 1/3 cups (8 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup butter (do not use margarine)

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.) Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours, or cheat and stick it in the freezer for a half hour or so.

In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.

Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm.

Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10-15 minutes at room temperature. Use a wet knife for easier cutting, making sure to wipe knife between each cut so that you have clean lines. For bars, cut into 5 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

*Just so you are not confused, these mint brownies are not gluten-free. But you could totally use gluten-free brownies as a base and follow the rest of the recipe like normal, since the filling and topping are both gluten-free.