A melted chocolate swirl can simply be plain chocolate, but you can add a little extract and color if working with white chocolate. Here, we add mint and green food coloring, but try your favorite flavor combinations. For instance, orange extract in a dark chocolate swirl would be delicious, too.
Active time: 30 mins; Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling time
Storage Notes: Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Make the white chocolate-peppermint swirl: In a small bowl, gently whisk together the chocolate, peppermint extract and food coloring, if using, until combined. Set aside while you assemble the brownies.
Make the brownies: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan with nonstick cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper long enough to have an overhang over two opposite sides of the pan.
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, oil and salt and microwave on HIGH in 30-second bursts three to four times, whisking after each, until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a heatproof bowl, nestled over a pot of barely simmering water — don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water — whisking occasionally, until melted and smooth.)
Immediately whisk in the granulated and brown sugars and the vanilla until combined. The batter will be thick and will clump up a bit on the whisk. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the yolk, until incorporated, then whisk in the baking powder until combined. Using a flexible spatula, fold in the flour until the last streak of it disappears; do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with an offset spatula. Dollop the swirl mixture over the batter in 4 rows of 3, for a total of 12 dollops. Drag a long wooden skewer, or the tip of a paring knife, through the dollops of swirl, first by dragging down vertically and then by dragging up vertically, never removing the skewer as you do so. Once you’ve dragged through each row vertically, do the same horizontally.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the pan into the brownie portion, not the swirl, comes out with a few moist crumbs, rotating the pan at the halfway point. Do not overbake. About 5 minutes before the baking time is up, sprinkle the crushed candy over the top of the brownies, if desired.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan, about 2 hours. Using the parchment overhang, lift the brownie out of the pan (if you meet any resistance, gently run a butter knife around the edges.)
Slice into 12 or 16 pieces (or however many you like) and serve.
NOTES: To melt the white chocolate, microwave on HIGH in 30-second bursts a few times, whisking after each, until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a heatproof bowl, nestled over a pot of barely simmering water, but don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Whisk occasionally until melted and smooth.) If the chocolate is difficult to whisk after you’ve added the extract and food coloring, microwave for an additional 5 to 10 seconds to soften it. It should be cool to the touch before adding it to the brownies.
To give the white chocolate-peppermint swirl brownies more peppermint flavor, use another 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract in place of 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract in the brownie batter and reduce the vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon.
From cookbook author Jessie Sheehan.
Tested by Alexis Sargent.
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