Peppermint browniesI was inspired by this recipe from Sunset magazine.  I tried it according to the directions first, but it needed a few tweaks to be successful.

I learned awhile ago that my homemade brownies are nowhere near as good as Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownie mix.  So, this creation is actually just those brownies, topped with an easy ganache (8 oz semi-sweet morsels and 1 cup whipping cream, combined over low heat), and topped with these wonderful peppermint squares made out of starlight mints.

How To Make Them:

Bake the brownies according to the box and let cool.  Still in the pan, top the brownies with the ganache and refrigerate for one hour.

To make the peppermint squares, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and then parchment (so that there is no chance of candy getting on the cookie sheet).  Line up 40-45 starlight mints about 1/4 inch apart on the cookie sheet. (The recipe says to space them further apart, but that didn’t result in the lovely sheet of swirls I was looking for.)

Bake for 12 minutes, keeping on eye on them and removing them before they turn yellow. Using a pizza cutter, lightly score the candy into whatever size squares you need for your brownie.  My trick is to just keep scoring the sheet with the pizza cutter until the lines hold.  If you wait too long, it will be too hard to score and they will break.  If you just score them right out of the oven, the candy will flow into the lines and reform.

When the candy sheet is completely cool, break it into squares along the scored lines.  Place them bottom side up (you’ll be tempted by the shiny tops, but the bottoms are way prettier) on the top of your brownies before you cut they brownies. Cut the brownies (wiping the knife between cuts to be sure the candy top stays clean and pretty) and serve.