Chocolate Mint Brownies

chocolate mint brownie recipe

I know I’m just starting here, but before you and I go any further, I just have to say one thing about these brownies: They’re pretty insane. I made these brownies about fifteen years ago and found it patiently waiting in the back of my recipe files. And giving it a read-through, it all came flooding back to me and I was struck with the urge to make them again.

One of the things I remember most about these brownies is how massive they were and how heavy the pan was. The pan is so heavy that I can’t imagine most people would be able to heft it with one hand. In fact, I was going to weight the pan just to prove it to you but my baking scale didn’t go that high. Yowza.

thin mints with chocolate

I’ve come to the conclusion that chocolate brownies almost always taste better after they’ve been frozen. I’ve known this for a while now, but am finally admitting it after pulling a few of these Maida Heatter’s Barrons Brownies out of my freezer.

It doesn’t matter if you eat them nearly ice-cold, or let them come to room temperature; there’s something about freezing brownies that makes them fudgier, denser, and just seems to take them to another level. Most brownies you can bite into right from the icebox, but these are so dense, and so rich, you’ll probably need to let them sit out just a bit if they’re frozen. Although most brownies I have no trouble sinking my teeth into right from the ice box.

(In fact, I learned this by having too many brownies on hand after doing some recipe testing and decided to freeze them individually. Which actually became counterproductive because they were really easy to grab one-by-one, and I discovered they were even better frozen. Well, so much for that bright idea, David.)

thin mints

Since it’s hard to find thin mints in Europe (you can use After Eights), I made my own, using the recipe in The Perfect Scoop, which I tripled. Making them myself meant that I could make them in a big slab and break them apart to fit into the pan. (It also meant I could coat them with a thicker layer of chocolate than the ones you buy.) But if you use the round ones, fit them into the pan, then break a few apart to fill in the blanks.

Maida Heatter was famous for carrying precisely-wrapped brownies in her purse and handing them out. In fact, Alec Lobrano who worked as an editorial assistant at the publishing house in New York that produced her books, said she always came into the office, telling them, “It’s a disgrace how little they pay you kids when you’re living in such a big expensive city.” Then she proceeded to reach into her handbag and dole out individually wrapped chocolate brownies to the young staff members.

bronwies thin mint brownies

I can’t really do anything about the pay or the housing prices in Paris, but I could probably carry brownies around with me. Except I’m not sure I want to lug a freezer around town. So I’ll keep them here, in my home freezer instead.

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Adapted from Maida Heatter’s Brand-New Book of Great Cookies by Maida Heatter

Do be careful not to overbake these brownies. It’s normal for the edges to get quite dark, nearly burnt but the inside should be very moist in the middle and if you insert a toothpick into the center, it should come out with soft, almost-liquid batter still attached. (It should not come out clean.) If it’s getting too dark on top, you can drape a sheet of foil over the top to finish baking.

The best way to cut these brownies into neat rectangles is to use a long sharp bread knife or a chef’s knife. Maida says some people consider the burnt edges the best parts. Nevertheless, you are welcome to trim those off and do what you wish with them.

  • 8 ounces (225g) unsweetened chocolate (see Note)
  • 8 ounces (225g) unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso
  • 3 1/2 cups (700g) sugar
  • 1 2/3 cup (170g) sifted flour
  • about 2 pounds (1kg) chocolate-covered thin mints (peppermint patties)

Optional: 1 1/2 cup (150g) walnuts, pecans, or almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC).

2. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil, shiny side down. Smooth the foil then butter it lightly or coat it with nonstick spray.

3. Chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes, then warm them together in a medium bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat as soon as both are melted and smooth.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or by hand, whip the eggs, vanilla, salt, instant coffee, and sugar on high speed for about ten minutes until foamy and stiff.

5. By hand, stir in the chocolate mixture, then the flour followed by the nuts, if using.

6. Smooth half of the batter into the pan. Place a layer of thin mints over the chocolate, breaking the mints into pieces to fill in any large gaps.

7. Pour the rest of the batter over the mints and smooth the top.

8. Bake the brownies for 35 minutes, rotating the brownies midway during baking.

When the brownies are done, they will have a firm crust on top but a toothpick inserted into the center should come out wet. Do not overbake the brownies.

9. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan and slice into rectangles.

Storage: The brownies will keep at room temperature for up to three days. They can be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months.

Notes: Unsweetened chocolate is readily available in the United States but not so common elsewhere. It’s sometimes called “baking chocolate.” If unsure, check the ingredient list: it should list no sugar and be 100% cocoa solids or chocolate liquor.

In France, it’s called 100% cacao and I buy it at G. Detou. Some chocolate shops sell smaller tablets, too. I haven’t tried these using all bittersweet or semisweet chocolate so can’t advise if they will work with those, but you’ll likely need to make adjustments with the butter and sugar.

A few commenters inquired as to what are chocolate-covered thin mints. You can see what they look like at CandyBlog.

To locate unsweetened chocolate in your area: How to Find Ingredients Mentioned on the Site.

For information about substituting ingredients: Baking Ingredients and Substitutions.

Related Posts and Recipes

Baked Brownies

Chocolate-Dulce de Leche Brownies

Triple Chocolate Scotcheroos

Sugar-Crusted Popovers

American Baking Ingredients in Paris

Chocolate FAQs

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  • March 11, 2011 6:15pm

    Looks delicious. Where do you find so many great recipes?

  • Stephanie Brooks
    March 11, 2011 6:17pm

    My layer of small York Peppermint patties started sinking. I beat everything for 10 minutes with my Kitchen Aid Mixer, but did not add nuts. Hopefully all will look nice when cooled!

  • Kim Wiley
    March 11, 2011 11:34pm

    Hi David,

    I have a question about the baking time for the Dulce de Leche brownies (in your book “The Sweet Life in Paris”), and wasn’t sure where to post it, but thought another brownie entry would be as good as I could find…. At any rate, the baking time listed in the recipe in the book is 45 minutes. That’s longer than any brownies I’ve ever baked before, but I thought perhaps the caramel required the longer baking. At any rate, I took them out at 39 minutes. The edges were quite dry, but I cut them off, before serving them. My husband said that they were the best brownies he ever ate, and I, personally, tend to like more cakey than fudgey brownies, so was happy with them. But I’d like to try them as you intended, so would appreciate if you could confirm the baking time. Also, noticed there is no salt added to the recipe (although you mention one can use salted butter). Can you confirm that “No salt” is also correct?

    Thank you so much! I enjoyed your book (and blog) immensely, and plan to visit some of the places mentioned on my next trip to Paris in May.

    Baking times on anything may vary depending on the material of the baking pan or dish (glass versus metal) and ovens have hot (and cold) spots, so bakers generally should keep a thermometer in their oven, as I do, but also be aware that ovens are very different. There is no salt in that batter because I put it in my dulce de leche when I make it, but you are welcome to add some the next time if you’d like. -dl

  • March 12, 2011 4:08am

    I just made them! I admit I wimped out and used only 1 pound of York Peppermint Patties. I think the ‘patties jumping out’ problem that some other posters referred to is the fact that the York patties tend to ‘spew’ some interesting white ‘spritz’ at the edges of the pan. When they cool, they form a sort of glassy, hard sugary crust. I laid the pan on top of a baking sheet, so no problems with leakage in the oven.

    I have to say that the inside brownies are much prettier than the outside ‘crust’ edges, but the ugly edges are delicious!

    I’m going to post the pictures on my blog later on with a link back to your website–the only thing I would really add is that for me, making this recipe was very messy. With all of the chocolate I used, I had chocolate on my clothes, face, and hair. A change of clothes before going out is very much advised, but they’re certainly worth it–going to bring them to my yoga class tomorrow as a present to enlighten someone’s birthday :)

  • Shari
    March 13, 2011 9:25pm

    Yum. Chocolate and mint go together like chocolate and cherries. I must admit that I cringed when you mentioned cold brownies. I love them warm and the edges are my favorite part. : )

  • March 13, 2011 11:49pm

    Oh great minds…………I’ve been hoarding thin mints from my Girl’s Scouts cookie sales with the idea of freezing them and crumbling chunks in my brownies….. Yummy, yum yum!

  • March 13, 2011 11:52pm

    And David, I would honestly love to send you some thin mints (I live in the Hague, Netherlands) and would be honoured to send you a box or three. Alternatively, I’ll be in Paris for a long weekend in mid April. Let me know if you’d like some!

  • Brian
    March 15, 2011 7:01am

    Just made these with your thin mints from The Perfect Scoop. They are spectacular with a scoop of your anise ice cream on top. Just so you don’t have to wonder anymore, they weigh about 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg).

  • BC
    March 15, 2011 10:18pm

    These are wonderful. Made 1/2 the recipe (using 3 eggs) and 8” square pan, cooked for 27 minutes and it worked perfectly. Maida Heatter has always been my baking idol-
    the best source for great desserts. Thank you for the mint addition.

  • Sophie Aloe Vera
    March 16, 2011 1:11pm

    I tried this recipe and I burnt it totally. :-( I could still taste the mint through the burn though. You really do need to watch them carefully if you don’t want to end up like me

  • nilda
    March 16, 2011 10:51pm

    O.K. I finally made some brownies and my daughter helped. Instead of chocolate-covered thin mints, I used unsweetened shredded coconut. A Caribbean delight!

    I served it with real mint tea and white wine poured over ice.

    No crumbs left. My family loved it.

  • Ed
    March 17, 2011 12:58pm

    I made these last night to take to work for our St. Pat’s day party. I left out the nuts, but added green food coloring to the “peppermint” in honor of St. Pat’s. I’ll say one thing, you only need a small square to achieve sugar high! WOW, maybe because I’m working to cut the added sugar from my diet, but these hit me like sugar rocket, but sooooo good! Thanks, David!

  • Barbara
    March 17, 2011 4:30pm

    Are you sure the brownies are to be baked at 425 F/218C for 35 minutes? I took them out at 30 minutes and good thing. I tasted them before I put them out for my office – they were like sawdaust. I wasted a lot of chocolate and mints not to mention my time on this recipe. It went into the garbage can. I was really disappointed…

  • March 17, 2011 5:23pm
    David Lebovitz

    Hi Barbara: Yes, I absolutely have baked these at this temperature. Saveur magazine also printed the recipe with the same baking time and temperature.

  • Stefan Winter
    March 19, 2011 6:06pm

    I have made these three times now since you have posted this and even mixed things up and tried different variations. I love Almond Joys, so I actually made a homemade version for the center. They came out fabulous!
    Most importantly, I have to say I appreciate the fact that you always give weight measurements. My first pan of brownies were great, but the subsequent two pans were better because I weighed the ingredients.

  • Jo
    March 20, 2011 5:48am

    Hi David,
    Can you please include the recipe for your version of Thin Mints? I unfortunately don’t have The Perfect Scoop ….perhaps you have included a link somewhere that I can’t see…Thank you very much

  • dominique
    March 21, 2011 2:17am

    I also had a hard time with the oven timing and temperature. I should have taken
    them out 5 minutes earlier or dropped the temperature of the oven. I ended up
    with very burnt edges and bottom–such a shame since the batter was delish. Un-
    fortunately the burnt taste shines through now.

  • Stefan Winter
    March 21, 2011 3:34am

    I have made these three times, always at 425 degrees, always for exactly 35 minutes. I can only guess that folks need to recalibrate their ovens or use an oven thermometer and adjust your heat accordingly. David can correct me, but I do not believe this would be a time to use convection either.
    Once you get the kinks worked out you will LOVE LOVE LOVE these!

  • TARA
    March 22, 2011 1:02am

    Oh Yum! Admittedly I found this recipe in Saveur and make them every so often. Fun to see you highlight them on your blog. They’re distinctive enough that I knew at first glance of the picture that this was Maida’s recipe.

  • jenniferc
    March 24, 2011 10:10pm

    i made these last weekend and they were waaay too sweet & sugary for me…i’m going to stick with my ina garten outrageous brownie recipe, it’s tough to beat :)

  • EileenO
    March 25, 2011 9:28am

    Well, I made the peppermints from Perfect Scoop (triple recipe) and found that it was very hard to dip. I had enough to make 2 batches of brownies. The peppermint was hard to dip in large pieces, so I’m not sure what went wrong. I did chill the insides overnight before dipping.

    2nd question. I do check my oven temp with a laser thermometer, but the top of the brownies were burning after 17 minutes. I don’t have a clue what was wrong….. At least there’s enough peppermint for another batch of brownies, but I’ll wait until someone can help. Help!!

  • March 25, 2011 4:23pm
    David Lebovitz

    eilleen: Because all ovens are different, if things cook too hot on top, you can drape a piece of foil over the top.

    I did not dip the pieces in chocolate, due to their size, but instead spread chocolate over the top as shown in the post.

    janniferc: Make sure to use 100% cocoa or unsweetened chocolate (not bittersweet chocolate) in the recipe.

  • Annie
    March 27, 2011 12:58am

    I was just looking over the recipe with the idea of making the brownies tomorrow as I made the peppermint today. However, the sugar weight for the brownies seems to be out. The recipe asks for 3.25 cups/350 grams. Should this be 700grams? I believe the expected weight of a cup of sugar is 200 grams.


    The conversion’s been corrected..thanks! -dl

  • March 27, 2011 1:51pm

    Thank you! I had fun having a go at these – when I can get hold of some proper 100% cacao I will do it again (and again).