24 April 2009

Mint Julep Brownies


It's almost May, the time of year when I always wish I were in Kentucky. I miss the rolling hills, the bluegrass, the tranquil horse farms and the beautiful and abundant dogwood blossoms as well as the excitement and festivities that can be found all over the state at this time of year.

I also miss the food. For the very best dessert to serve at any Derby celebration I highly recommend my Aunt Hen’s Brownie Pie. I can’t help it, I always loved that pie. I do realize however that some people like variety and I admit that there are other perfectly good desserts that are completely appropriate for this season. One very nice alternative is Mint Julep Brownies.

Last year around the end of April we happened to be in Paducah, Kentucky at the time of the American Quilter’s Society Annual Quilt Show. It is a huge annual event featuring some of the world’s finest quilts. Just take a look at this quilt that won last year's show.


To celebrate this annual event, and to feed some of the many hungry guests that come to town for the show, Grace Episcopal Church holds an annual Quilt Luncheon. Since we have connections we were able to get tickets to this event. (Without connections I think you can just buy them at the door.)

The food was prepared by parishioners and was really good. An unusual and festive chicken and rice salad was the entrée, served with a roasted fruit salad and a Mint Julep Brownie for dessert. I had never had exactly the same sort of brownie before and I wanted to try making it myself. Luckily recipes were available for a donation of $1 each.

After a few adjustments here is what I came up with:


Mint Julep Brownies
from the 2008 Quilters' Luncheon

1 cup (two sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces
4 oz. dark chocolate, broken into bits
4 eggs
2 cups granualted sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 Tablespoons bourbon

whipped cream
mint sprigs
Candied Pecans (recipe below)
bourbon

In a heavy saucepan melt the butter and chocolate over low heat. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat at medium speed for two minutes. Add the cooled chocolate mixture, sugar, flour, salt, peppermint extract and bourbon. Stir just until combined.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack until completely cool.

Cut into squares. Serve garnished with whipped cream, a sprinkling of Candied Pecans and a sprig of mint.

Note: For the adults at your gathering I suggest splashing the plate with a teaspoon or so of good Kentucky bourbon before plating and garnishing the brownies. It adds a more authentic Mint Julep flavor, just an undercurrent of spirited bite to play against the sweetness of the brownie and the candied pecans. Of course this is completely optional.


Candied Pecans

1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup pecan halves

Melt butter in a small skillet over low heat.

Add sugar stirring until combined.

Add pecans. Cook and stir over low heat until the mixture begins to darken. (This will only take a few minutes.)

Remove skillet from heat and let sit for 10 minutes until pecans cool and sugar hardens. Break the sugar and pecans into coarse bits for garnish.

Enjoy!

16 comments:

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I'm a brownie lover...just took some out of the oven,lol. Mint Julep brownies sound wonderful!

Elyse said...

Mmm, these brownies look totally delicious!! You're making me want to be in KY, too. Man oh man, mint juleps are great alone, as are brownies. But putting the two together? It's genius!

Mary said...

I'll have to give these a try. One of my current favorite brownies has a mint layer between the cake and icing. Yours sounds awfully good.

noble pig said...

Oh, you can so guarantee we are going to make these!

Thank you!

Ricki said...

Oh, my goodness. . . those sound incredible (and the photo is stunning!). Gorgeous quilt, too. :)

Bunny said...

Mint Julep sounds so Ky to me! This looks wonderful, but then so does your Aunts brownie pie which I also bookmarked!!

Pam said...

That quilt is amazing!

I love, love, love the combination of chocolate and mint, so this brownie recipe sounds fantastic!

Robin Sue said...

These are great and with all the derby parties around the corner it comes just in time. I have only had one mint julep in my life and loved it. I will have to try these brownies out. The winning quilt is amazing. My MIL is a quilter and she would love to see that.

Debbie said...

I have bourbon...that I need to use. LOL...I bought it for a recipe. And now I can use it in these brownies. You make me miss Kentucky and I've never been there!

Donna-FFW said...

These sound absolutely terrific. I love every aspect of this recipe..

the southern hostess said...

Yum! What a great idea! These look so good.

Grace said...

sensational. i love minty chocolate things and every candied nut i've ever tried. excellent idea and terrific execution! makes me proud to be a southerner. :)

jwright said...

I work at Bass Pecan Company we are having a pecan recipe contest.
Enter in a chance to win $1000 at our website www.basspecan.com

MaryBeth said...

I am a huge brownie fan and with mint...OMG how good that must be!

Cindy said...

Yum, Yum! Everything looks delicious! I'm visiting your blog for the first time. I'll definitely be spending more time checking it out. Thanks for your visit to my blog.

Louisa said...

Love the innovation! I see very few innovative edible creations this time of year in Kentucky - most cling to the old standbys like Derby Pie and Bourbon Balls. But this is a fantastic idea! Who doesn't love brownies anyway? I did go to a derby party in Portland yesterday. In keeping with tradition, I did not pick the winner. Great post!