My favorite night of the year is probably Christmas Eve. Joe's aunt Linda hosts the family at her house for dinner and Santa gifts. Everything about the night is just plain fun, from the big spread of food to the ridiculous gifts that come out of Santa's grab bag. Linda asked me to bring some desserts to the party this year and I was happy to oblige. I knew right away I wanted to reprise the pumpkin gingerbread trifle that I made earlier this month - it's perfect for Christmas! But I also wanted to bring something chocolatey as well. I recalled this recipe for chocolate-mint bars that was on the cover of the March issue of Cooking Light. I've had the recipe since then but hadn't gotten around to making it, so I thought Christmas Eve would be the perfect opportunity to try it out. After all, you need a little mint at Christmas!
These bars are very easy to make, although I feel as if I may have done exactly what the recipe warns against and baked the bottom layer a tad too long - they were more cake -ike than fudgey, but in the end that was okay! The mint layer is sweet with just the right amount of mint flavor and the chocolate glaze is a great topper. Everyone enjoyed these bars and they made a sweet ending to a wonderful Christmas Eve.
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
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350°.
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.
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.
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.