Friday, March 2, 2012

Guest Post: Heavenly Minty Brownies

We have company!! That's right, today marks my first guest post. I'm very excited about this for an abundance of reasons. First and foremost, this guest blogger is of extremely close relation to me. I'm not at liberty to give any further details - but let's just say I love her like a sister! Second, she just happens to be one of the best cooks I know. You name it, I bet she can make it. And if she can't, she'll figure it out! And lastly, having given up sweets for lent myself (I know, torture), I would not have been able to share any sweets recipes with you in the next month. Here is your chance to thank her profusely!

When I first asked which recipe she was going to send our way, she said, and I quote, "it combines crafty and delicious." And, if I may add, it's perfect for the upcoming St. Patty's holiday. With no further ado ... here's her review of Sandra Lee's Crème de Menthe Brownies. 

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What a crappy day. Thunder and lightning on March 2.  Really?

So, while curled up with the psycho of the house, our dog, I flipped to my favorite channel of all time  - Food Network. Sandra Lee came on, and as usual, I was in awe of everything you can make that’s Semi-Homemade.  And side note, I just want to say that I am in love with her kitchen and how it magically changes for every show. And, she is probably one of the best dressed people I have seen and miraculously she doesn't spill anything on her Prada shoes....just a guess that they are Prada.  Does Prada even make shoes?? You can tell I'm stylin’! So back to the good stuff …  She whipped up these crème d menthe brownie … in the Crock Pot.  My jaw dropped... and I thought to myself … “why the heck not?!” So I grabbed all of the ingredients necessary and began.  

Here are the Ingredients I used. (The full recipe can be found at the bottom of the post.) 


And here are the devices I used - a casserole dish that would fit in the crock pot I was using – and of course, a crock pot.


First, mix the brownie mix, 2 eggs, vegetable oil (I used canola oil), and ¼ c. crème de menthe (or mint extract, I only used 1 1/2 tsp of mint extract). Pour this into the dish, NOT the crock pot.


Then mix the cream cheese, 1 egg, sugar, 2tsp crème de menthe (I used 1/2 tsp mint extract ... a little goes a long way :D.). 


Pour this over the brownie batter ... 


... then swirl that bad boy with a butter knife!


Before placing in Crock-pot, grab some foil, crumple it up (STRESS RELIEVER!!), and mold it into a ring. Place it at the bottom of the Crock-pot.


Set the dish with the brownie mixture inside the crock pot, on top of the foil. Press down to make sure it's even.Then place 8 paper towels over the top of the crock pot before covering with the lid. This is to absorb any condensation that forms on the lid, prevent it from dripping on the brownies, and to trap steam. Who wants a soggy brownie?? Not this girl! 



So I did as I was told. Then put the top on and wait...

Waiting........

Waiting .......

Photo courtesy of www.thisisyourconcience.com

Finally!


Delicious!!

Crème de Menthe Brownies
1 (19.5-oz) box milk chocolate brownie mix
3 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil (I used canola oil because that is what we had in the pantry)
1/4 c. plus 2 teaspoons crème de menthe liqueur, divided (I used mint extract)
1/2 c. chopped crème de menthe thins, about 18 (recommended: Andes (I used chocolate chips))
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened (recommended: Philadelphia)
1/2 c. sugar
Directions
Lightly spray a 1 1/2-quart soufflé dish with butter-flavored cooking spray. Make a foil ring, 1-inch thick, for soufflé dish to sit on inside a 5 quart slow cooker. In a bowl, combine brownie mix, 2 eggs, vegetable oil, and 1/4 cup crème de menthe (Or 1 1/2 tsp mint extract). Stir using 50 strokes or use a hand blender on medium speed for 1 minute to combine. Fold in chopped mint thins. Transfer to prepared soufflé dish and set aside.
in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, remaining egg, sugar and 2 tsp crème de menthe(1/2 tsp mint extract). Using electric mixer beat on low speed until smooth. Spread over brownie mixture. Use a butter knife to cut cream cheese mixture into brownie mixture for a marble effect. Place soufflé dish on top of foil ring in slow cooker. Lay 8 paper towels on top of slow cooker bowl and secure with lid. (This helps to trap steam.) Cook on LOW setting for 4 1/2 to 6 hours. (Do not lift lid to check brownies for the first 3 hours.)
Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting.
Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee, Semi-Homemade Cooking 2008.

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