Andes mints remind me of the holidays. I don't know if it's because their wrappers are a shiny Christmas green or the mint flavor just coincides perfectly with flavors of the season. Maybe it's because they were always found in my Christmas stocking...hmmmm.
However, Andes mints are also a great childhood memory of going out to dinner. Let's face it, only the good restaurants had them. They arrived with the check and it was always a happy moment for us kids when they did. While I can't remember the food I had eaten at these places, I knew and still remember which ones brought out the recognizable little package.
It's funny to me now that I can recall the Chinese Place on Beach Blvd that had these. As well as the BBQ pit up the road. I wonder why this memory remains so vivid? It's not like the mints were scarce and we couldn't buy them at the store. It must be because they were good and seemed like such a treat.
Now, thirty plus years later, these mints still have meaning to me. And ever since I made this brownie recipe (it's pretty much the best one ever), I have been dreaming of making it with Andes mints too.
What could be better than this? The taste is kind of incredible. It's dessert, but with the mint, it's a palate refresher in its own way. And the walnuts give it the texture it needs. The tastes is fudge-like. There is just no comparison to so many other brownie recipes I have tried.
Now, here is my brownie cake after baking. See the edges, no trimming required. I make all my brownies in a Magic Line pan. You will have no extra brownie to remove to get the perfect edge or corner angle. I have had my pan for years and years and use it to make so many things. I can't say enough good things about it.
Everyone in your family will love these brownies. I promise.
Andes Mint-Fudgey Brownies
- 8 oz unsweetened chocolate, (I used Lindt 85% cacao bars)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (plus 1 Tablespoon for greasing the pan)
- 3-3/4 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temp
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1-2/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 generous cups walnuts, chopped into large pieces
- 56 Andes mints, unwrapped
- Fit the pan you are using (I hope it's a Magic Line pan) carefully with aluminum foil. Press down all corners and sides, making sure to not make a hole. Spread one Tablespoon of melted butter over foil with a pastry brush.
- In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate. Stir continually until both are fully melted and combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar, eggs, espresso powder, extracts and salt at high speed for 10 minutes. Add chocolate mixture (which has cooled slightly) with mixer on low speed just until blended. Add flour on low speed and beat just until mixed. Stir in the walnuts.
- Spoon half the mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top. Layer the mints over the chocolate layer as you see in the above picture. (Do not cut mints in half.) Spoon remaining chocolate mixture over mints and carefully smooth top.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F, rotating the pan at the 15 minute mark.
- Remove from oven and let stand in pan until completely cool. Invert pan on board and remove foil lining. Invert again so brownies are right side up.
- Refrigerate (overnight is best) before cutting. If you used a Magic Line Pan you will have not have any edges to trim.
- Use a long 8" chef's knife to cut the brownies into quarters. Cut each quarter in half, then cut each eighth into four bars. This narrow shape shows off the mints best.