Chocolate Mint Bars

Easy and delicious homemade treats to rival the bakery or candy store. Eat all you want, you can always make more.

Chocolate Mint Bars - easy and delicious homemade treats to rival the bakery or candy store. Eat all you want, you can always make more.

I loved the line quoted often from Michael Pollan, “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” The idea is that since it’s so much work than buying a convenience item or fast food, you’ll eat less. I’d also argue that you will eat better since you can control the ingredients and make it what you really want it to be.

Such is the case for these Chocolate Mint Bars. I took a recipe from my childhood and did some tweaking.

The original made a full 9×13 pan. I reduced the size to an 8-inch square, yielding 16 pieces, enough for my people to each have two bars. This is more than enough for a sweet treat.

The original called for creme de menthe of which I have never bought. I reduced the price by using some half and half and peppermint extract.

The original also called for a full can of chocolate syrup. It’s possible that it was made with real sugar 40 years ago, but today I know that stuff is loaded with junk. I used cocoa powder instead.

Chocolate Mint Bars - easy and delicious homemade treats to rival the bakery or candy store. Eat all you want, you can always make more.

I used nut-free chocolate. This is a little hard to come by; so much chocolate is processed in the same facility as nuts. I was able to make sure that my no-peanuts-or-walnuts girl could enjoy these bars.

I also used whole wheat pastry flour. Yes, really. There was enough richness from the mint buttercream and the chocolate glaze, that we didn’t even notice that the cake layer was whole grain. I know, I can’t go so far as to call these “nutritious” but I feel less guilty. That’s worth something right there!

Whether or not you care if your treats are homemade, whole grain, or allergy-friendly, you will love these. We sure do! You can eat these frozen, cold, or at room temperature. We like them all ways!

DIY on a Dime

This is part of the DIY on a Dime: Valentine’s Day. For more easy and frugal gift ideas, check out the list.

 

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Comments

  1. Nia Hanna says:

    Hi Jessica,
    I usually use ww (red not white or pastry) so I want to know the consistency of the batter for these. Should it be thick like brownie batter or looser like boxed cake mix. All my from scratch things seem heavier even with ww pastry flour. So I just wanna know what it should look like if I sub ww pastry flour for regular ol’ ww flour.

  2. Those sound wonderful! My great aunt always made a recipe similar to this that I loved. I’ll have to try it.

    Also, my husband is severely allergic to nuts and Hershey and Ghirardelli brand chocolate chips tend to be nut free. Also if you are looking for candy melts or other chocolates, I have ordered many times from the Vermont Nut Free website and we love their chocolate and candies. It’s a little pricey but worth it if I know it’s nut free!

  3. I’m happy to see a remake of this recipe! The recipe I got from someone called for hydrogenated shortening! Yikes! I also thought that since the mint flavoring is added to the middle, cream layer, that one, conceivably, could make any flavor one liked best…..hmmm, like strawberry, orange, vanilla, raspberry,…the sky’s the limit!! Thanks so much!

  4. Heather M says:

    Wow, this recipe is similar to mine (well, my mom’s, but I’ve been making them forever!). The differences include: the extract goes in the brownie itself, not the buttercream. Buttercream is exactly the same. BUT, topping is less rich, in that all it is is unsweetened chocolate squares melted together with butter and then drizzled/spread on top and cooled. for some reason, the unsweetened chocolate balances the richness of the brownie and buttercream. Super yummy! the brownie recipe appears to be similar, but I can’t remember off-hand, although we go for regular old unbleached all purpose. :)

  5. These are amazing!! Three steps makes them more involved than most desserts I make, but wow, is it worth it! I found it helpful to chill it before spreading the chocolate glaze on. I’ll definitely make these again!

  6. I made these for Valentine’s Day (along with heart shaped brownies) and I think they are one of the best desserts I’ve ever made! Thanks so much. Also, I used gluten free flour (Better Batter) since my kids have celiac disease and they turned out perfectly. Thanks so much, Jessica!

  7. Made these and totally didn’t follow your directions. I accidentally added all my butter to the powdered sugar instead of holding some back to melt the chocolate chips. To add to this I added my chocolate layer before it was cool enough and ended up with the mint layer melting a bit. I ended up with a very rich “peppermint patty” brownie. After half the batch was gone I needed a change and had a thought that it needed ice cream. I mixed one into some vanilla ice cream and my goodness was it even more perfect. “Peppermint patty” brownie ice cream is allowed on my dessert menu any day of the week! Thanks for the recipe Jessica. I would absolutely use your recipe again, being sure to follow the directions next time. Oh and you’re right, an 8 x 8 pan is plenty for a family to enjoy a sweet treat.

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