Tuesday, November 20, 2012

BYU's Mint Brownies

While I was going to school at Brigham Young University (BYU), it was always a challenge to stay away from their made-from-scratch orange rolls, chocolate covered cinnamon bears, cinnamon rolls and especially their mint brownies. Soft, chewy and fudgy with a thin layer of mint frosting topped with a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth layer of chocolate frosting. Sinful and decadent.

Now that I live across the country in Tennessee, these brownies are kind of out of my reach, which is why I was so excited when I stumbled across the recipe that was posted in the BYU magazine back in 2003.

Let's start with the brownie part first. This was a super easy brownie recipe since it just calls for cocoa powder instead of melted and cooled chocolate. The resulting brownie was so soft, chewy and fudgy - just like the ones I remember! That's a big plus for homemade brownies since half of the time mine turn into hard bricks. :)

The frosting was also really simple and had a fantastic flavor. I love the light mint flavor combined with the chocolate frosting. And since the mint layer is tinted a light green, it makes me feel all fancy and professional, even though I'm FAR from that... Serve these with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to take them over the edge. Oh, and if you make this large 9x13 size, make sure you take it to a party where there are a LOT of people to eat them. Otherwise you'll end up with a half of a pan full of these bad boys sitting at home. Not a good start to the Holiday season..



  • 1 cup (2 sticks)  margarine
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional - I leave these out)
Mint Icing:

  • 5 Tbsp. margarine, softened
  • dash of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 2 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. mint extract
  • 1 - 2 drops green food coloring
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
Chocolate Icing:

  • 5 Tbsp. margarine, softened
  • dash of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
Melt margarine and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. Add honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add nuts if desired. Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool.

Prepare mint icing: Soften margarine. Add salt, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix. Add milk gradually until the consistency is a little thinner than cake frosting. Note: You still want the mint frosting to be thick enough to spread and have it stay in place. Don't add more than 3 Tbsp. of milk or the consistency will be too thin.

Spread mint icing over brownies. Place brownies in the freezer for a short time (15-20 minutes) to stiffen the icing. Mix up the chocolate icing the same way as the mint. Remove the brownies from the freezer and carefully add a layer of chocolate icing. Keep brownies stored in fridge until ready to serve.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

There's nothing quite like leftover turkey on a homemade dinner roll slathered with cranberry sauce. Especially this amazing, homemade cranberry-orange sauce with a hint of cinnamon. Mm.. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. This sauce is really easy to make and tastes ten times better than the canned Oceanspray cranberry sauce you can buy year-round. Thanksgiving only comes once a year, so why not take the extra ten minutes to make your own instead of using that awful looking canned sauce that has jellied ridges from the aluminum? 

Honestly though, this sauce really only takes about 10 minutes to throw together! Put in a fancy silver dish on the table and you'll take your turkey to whole new level! (Picture courtesy of This Week for Dinner)

  • 1 12-oz. bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 orange, roughly chopped
Put all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let it softly simmer for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries begin to burst and release their juices. Sauce will thicken slightly and all of the flavors will meld together to create an amazing tart-sweet flavor! Let cool and serve cold.