Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for buttering pan
- 8 ounces (2 generous cups) walnuts
- 5 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon powdered instant espresso
- 3-3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1-2/3 cups sifted unbleached flour
- 2 (14- or 15.4-ounce) bags chocolate-covered peppermint patties, wrappers removed
Place the chocolate and 8 ounces butter in the top of a large double boiler over hot water on medium heat, or in a 4- to 6-cup heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted. Stir to mix. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Break the walnuts into large pieces; set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the vanilla and almond extracts, salt, espresso, and sugar at high speed for 10 minutes. On low speed add the chocolate mixture (which may still be warm) and beat only until mixed. Then add the flour and again beat on low speed only until mixed. Remove the bowl from he mlxer. Stir in the nuts.
Pour half the mixture (about 3-1/2 cups) into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place a layer of the mints, touching each other and the edges of the pan, all over the chocolate layer. Cut some mints to fill in large spaces on the edges. (You will not use all the mints. There will be some left over.) Pour the remaining chocolate mixture all over the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35 minutes, reversing the pan front to back once during baking to ensure even baking. At the end of 35 minutes, the cake will have a firm crust on top, but if you insert a toothpick in the center it will come out wet and covered with chocolate. Nevertheless, it is done. Do not bake any longer.
Remove the pan from the oven; let stand until cool.
Cover the pan with a cookie sheet and invert the pan and the sheet. Remove the pan and the foil lining. Cover the cake with a length of wax paper and another cookie sheet and invert again leaving the cake right side up. Now the cake must be refrigerated for a few hours or overnight before it is cut into bars.
When you are ready to cut the cake, use a long, heavy knife with a sharp blade either serrated or straight-try both. Cut the cake into quarters. Cut each quarter in half, cutting through the long sides. Finally, cut each piece into 4 bars, cutting through the long sides. (These are better in narrow bar shapes than in squares.)
Pack in an airtight box or wrap individually in clear cellophone, wax paper or foil. These freeze perfectly and can be served very cold or at room temperature.
Yield: 32 jumbo brownies
Per serving: 364 calories, 5 grams protein, 17 grams fat, 51 grams carbohydrates, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 81 milligrams sodium, 43 percent calories from fat.
Recipe Source: Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies by Maida Heatter (Random House)
Reprinted with permission.