Peppermint Buttermilk Brownies

Do you guys love buttermilk as much as I do? To me, it’s a magical ingredient – making awesome things all the more awesome by bringing a ton of flavor and moisture to the party. I use it in everything from biscuits, to mashed potatoes, and almost all the time in baking. Needless to say, I always have it in the refrigerator and it’s on my shopping list more often than not.

Some folks combine vinegar with a bit of milk to get the same effect, which is fine…but I don’t think it has the same flavor characteristics as fresh buttermilk. Another option pointed out to me by my friends at Cook’s Illustrated is dried buttermilk, which is then re-hydrated with water and used. Great flavor, and shelf stable – something you might want to consider if you don’t go through it as quickly as I do.

So, these brownies. A rich, fudgy chocolate brownie topped off with a sweet chocolate glaze that’s been spiked with a hint of peppermint extract, and then topped off with crushed peppermint candy. They’re rich and decadent, chock full of Holiday spirit, but without an overbearing peppermint flavor – a problem you run into all too often this time of year. This recipe makes a 13×9 tray, which yielded plenty of brownies for a party or get-together. Or, just enough for a pregnant woman to eat for breakfast 3 days in a row…

So excited to get my Christmas baking underway, formulating my “to-make” list this weekend. We’re looking forward to getting our tree decorated this evening, and Jon’s getting up the lights on the house this weekend. I just love this time of year!