Monday, September 7, 2009

Chocolate-Mint Bars

This is absolutely one of my favorite desserts. It was on the cover of the March 2008 issue of Cooking Light. The picture was so enticing that I decided I had to give my hand at them. It is now one of my go to dessert recipes. I made them last Tuesday for Girls Dessert Night, and the plate was left empty! They look really fancy, but I promise they are easy to make. Just allow enough time for the bottom layer to cool before you add the mint layer and chocolate layer. Trust me, you will want to eat the entire pan. Enjoy this yummy treat!

The dense base layer is like a rich, fudgy brownie, so don't overcook it or the dessert bars will be dry. Refrigerating the mint bars allows the chocolaty top layer to set properly. You can make the dessert up to one day ahead. For a more grown-up taste, you can also use dark chocolate chips for some or all of the semisweet chocolate chips in the glaze.

Yield

20 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

Ingredients

BOTTOM LAYER:

1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup egg substitute

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, beaten

1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup

Cooking spray


MINT LAYER:

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons fat-free milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 drops green food coloring


GLAZE:

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons butter

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare bottom layer, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt; stir with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, egg substitute, 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons water, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate syrup in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

3. To prepare mint layer, combine powdered sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and next 3 ingredients (through food coloring) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread mint mixture over cooled cake.

4. To prepare the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 20 pieces.

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