Double Chocolate Mint Brownies

Need one more dessert for your holiday parties? These brownies are easy to throw together, delicious, and festive. I had such amazing unexpected success with my mint chocolate chip cookies that I had to try out the mint milk concept with brownies. If you’re a fan of the Girl Scouts’ Thin Mint cookies, you will LOVE these. And…this particular rendition is gluten-free, too. 🙂

When I made my mint chip cookies, I used traditional peppermint in lieu of incorporating processed candy canes. All out of peppermint, these brownies include another mint I have growing at my house: spearmint. Like peppermint, spearmint can assist with gastrointestinal issues and can also help to remedy nausea. As I mentioned before, these desserts with real mint are the ultimate post-dinner dessert!

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With visitors in town and the daily grind of a newborn and a two-year-old, it’s been slower than usual on The Fresh Formula. After the holidays, I’ll resume posting progress reports on my journey to my pre-baby body and of course, sharing formulas and recipes. In the meantime, Happy Holidays!

BROWNIES

Fills a 9 x 13 pan with approximately ¾-inch thick brownies

  • 2 cups flour –> I used 1 cup brown rice flour and 1 cup white rice flour.
  • 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk –> I used ¾ cup almond.*
  • 1 cup sweetener –> I used ½ cup turbinado sugar and ½ cup agave syrup.
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup oil –> I used coconut.
  • 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds + 3 tbsp hot water (“egg”) –> I used flax.
  • 1 tsp extract –> I used vanilla.
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • OPTIONAL:  ½-1 cup chips –> I used ½ cup packed spearmint leaves and ½ cup mini-semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan).

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*Because they are raw plants, the peppermint leaves themselves contain additional moisture, so I am using less milk to ensure that the dough/batter is the right consistency.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Puree the mint leaves and milk in the blender and set aside. In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients, sans sweetener.  In another bowl, mix your wet ingredients (including mint milk), plus sweetener.  This includes your “egg,” which should be prepared separately before adding it to the rest of the wet ingredients. Slowly mix your wet ingredients into your dry until a dough or thick batter forms; different sweeteners and oils will change the consistency.  Point is, don’t be concerned if what you expected to be a drippy batter turns out thick.  🙂 Mix in your chips (if using) or save them to sprinkle on top.

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Lightly grease a 9 x 13 backing pan or dish (I prefer glass).  Spread your dough evenly throughout and top with chips, if you’d like. Bake for 20-22 minutes for a fudgy brownie or 23-25 minutes for a cakey brownie.  Using gluten-free flour and/or liquid sweetener? Baking time will likely be longer. These went for 27 minutes for fudgy. Enjoy!

 

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Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies

As promised in my last post, peppermint cookies are here! When I originally conceived this recipe—a holiday take on my classic chip cookies—I imagined it would come together with candy canes to really signify the spirit of the season. I was willing to incorporate an ingredient so heavily processed because I was including only a small amount of it…and I love candy canes. 🙂 The more I thought about it, however, I realized that there was a way I could get a purer peppermint flavor in my cookies, free of Red #40 and refined sugars.

Here you see my peppermint plant (I also grow spearmint). What better place to start with obtaining a peppermint flavor than with the plant itself?! Peppermint is truly a super food. Most notably, peppermint can relieve indigestion. The plant’s oil is even sold on its own for this and other medicinal purposes.

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I figured I would just throw the leaves right into my cookies, making these treats the ultimate post-dinner dessert: Help soothe your upset tummy after that filling holiday meal and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time. Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE:  CHIP COOKIES

Makes 24-30 small cookies

  • 1 ½ cups flour –> I’m using whole wheat.
  • ¾ cup unsweetened plant milk –> I’m using ½ cup oat.*
  • 2/3 cup sweetener –> I’m using turbinado sugar.
  • ½ cup oil or nut/seed butter –> I’m using coconut oil (room temperature, not melted).
  • 2 tbsps flax or chia seeds –> I’m using flax.
  • ½-1 tsp extract (depending on flavor intensity) –> I’m using 1 tsp homemade vanilla extract.
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 2/3 cup chips –> I’m using 1/3 cup mini-semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan) and 1/3 cup packed peppermint leaves.

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*Because they are raw plants, the peppermint leaves themselves contain additional moisture, so I am using less milk to ensure that the dough is the right consistency.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Puree the mint leaves and milk in the blender and set aside.

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With an electric hand mixer, cream together the coconut oil, extract, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients and stir by hand to combine. Stir in the mint milk and finally, the chocolate chips.

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Grease 2-3 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.  Place heaping spoonfuls of cookie dough into your palm and form a loose ball (doesn’t need to be perfect). Space approximately a 1.5 inches apart. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until the cookie edges are slightly golden brown.