A while back, I was discussing desserts with a friend, and when the conversation turned to brownies, she mentioned that she used to get Andes Mint brownies at Starbucks. Emboldened by drink, I claimed that I would not be outdone by some cruddy coffee chain. Of course, the next day, it occurred to me that I had never made brownies from scratch before. After extensive (read: almost thirty minutes) research, I stitched together this recipe from several sources. You could probably leave out the mint chips, but I've never tried it, as they are the recipe's raison d'être. They are particularly nice as a complement to a spicy main course.
Andes Mint Brownies
2/3 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 squares (2 tablespoon) unsweetened chocolate
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Andes mint chips (about a third of a bag, or you could make them yourself; chop up 15-20 mints)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a double boiler or reasonable facsimile (I use a pyrex bowl, propped up by foil balls, in a pan of water), melt the chocolate and butter over barely simmering water until the mixture is smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.
While the chocolate mixture is cooling, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
When the chocolate has cooled for about ten minutes, whisk in the sugar until combined, then add the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients and the mint chips.
Pour the batter into a greased 8"x8" baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and center of the pan comes out not quite clean, about 20-24 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Makes 16 brownies.