Cooking with Annie: Episode 9 – Chocolate Mint Brownies

I can feel steel being forged in my spine and my spirit as each day I wake to choose calm, grace, kindness, and caring. As I choose to focus on how grateful I am for so many of the ‘little’ things, while what I maybe would have called the ‘big’ things swirl around and around. Outside of me. Outside of my control. Outside of my realm of influence.

The realm I choose is grateful. The realm I choose is grace. The realm I choose is forging steel in my spine and my spirit as each day I sit, sometimes with faith and sometimes with discomfort, and give witness to this experience. It will not go to waste, this time of waiting.

And until the waiting is over, we bake… with chocolate.

 

Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Mint Bars 
This is one that my family would make every Christmas, sans Bailey’s when we were little. My brothers and I could eat a pan of these in no time flat. It’s really no different on the Riggin – they disappear quickly.  Excerpted from At Home, At Sea: Recipes from a Maine Windjammer.

2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter
4 ounces (4 squares) unsweetened chocolate
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Frosting
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Glaze
3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and cooled to room temperature. Beat in the sugar, eggs, Bailey’s, and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the center springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Frosting
Beat the frosting ingredients together until light and creamy and then frost the bars.

Glaze
Melt the glaze ingredients, cool slightly, and pour the glaze over the frosting. Tilt the pan to spread the glaze. Cool before cutting.  Cut into 24 bars.

Makes 24 bars

Annie
Hang in there!

Cook the Book – Chocolate Mint Bars

Chocolate Mint Bars

This is one that my family would make every Christmas.  My brothers and I could eat a pan of these in no time flat.

Bars:
2/3 cup shortening
4 squares chocolate
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
2 tablespoons milk or cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Glaze:
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Melt the shortening and chocolate in a double boiler.  Cool. Beat in the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a fork inserted in the bars comes out clean.  Cool in the pan. Beat the frosting ingredients together until light and creamy then frost the bars. Melt the glaze ingredients in a double boiler, cool slightly then pour the glaze over the frosting.  Tilt the pan to spread the glaze. Cut into bars.

Makes 24

Maine Lobster Bake part 2 – S’Mores

The next important step for your backyard lobster bake is dessert. Once everyone has had their fill of lobster, the watermelon is sliced and the makings for S'mores are laid out. There's always a lively discussion over how to make the best S'more, and the proper way to roast a marshmallow.

We've tried these on the propane burner before and wouldn't you know, it's just not the same. Give it a miss unless you've got a campfire.

1/2 Hershey bar
1 full graham cracker, broken in half
2 marshmallows
 
Place the Hershey bar on top of one of the halves of graham cracker and move it close to the fire so the chocolate can get warm.

Place two marshmallows on a metal roasting stick (not driftwood) and slowly turn it over the hot coals until it becomes golden brown. It's important to take your time here as the impatient folks end up with a burnt marshmallow. Some poor souls actually like them this way – go figure.

Makes 1

Anne Mahle
Slowly roasting marshmallows