I've told you about my cookbook collection, but I don't think I've ever mentioned the first cookbook I ever purchased. It was in April 1980, a few months after hubby and I got married. He was off skiing with a friend one day, and I went shopping. I only remember one item I purchased that day - a cookbook by Susi Anderson called Feasting after . . . work and play. Published in 1979, it was a new release then - 30+ years later, it looks very used. And it has been!
It's there were I still go for my two favorite salad recipes, cheesy bread, baby cheesecakes, and Dutch babies, among others. More often than not, I've gone to the most-loved page of all, where you'll find peppermint bars.
In my little world, they're known as mint brownies. And there's a bit of a funny history surrounding them. In my cookbook, they have a red star and the word, great!, marked in the margin. I made them off and on in the 80's, as hubby is a real chocolate and mint fan. Well in 1988 when I went to work in a bakery, I found one of their signature items was mint brownies. I would make big full-sheet pans of them, sometimes two in one day. And once chilled, they'd be carefully cut 2" x 3" and placed on a triangle of parchment paper, and plattered up, where they proceeded to fly off the bakery shelf. They were a standard - the #1 item I could never run out of. One day it dawned on me how similar they were to 'my' peppermint bars, and it prompted me to compare recipes. You got it - one and the same (except for quantity, of course).
From then on, they've been called mint brownies, and when I left the bakery and went on to other jobs, they became a favorite with my coworkers as well. Which is exactly why I made them last night.
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
Melt butter & chocolate in saucepan. Remove from heat & add beaten eggs. Beat well with whisk. Add sugar, flour & salt. Pour into greased 9" square pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350°.
1 c. powdered sugar
2 heaping Tb. butter
1 Tb. milk
1/2 Tb. peppermint extract
Beat all ingredients together until smooth. Spread on cooled brownies & chill.
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tb. butter
Melt butter & chocolate together. Pour over chilled frosting & tilt pan to completely cover. Chill well before cutting.
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