These gooey brownies are made perfect with just the right amount of mint flavor!
It’s become a comical cliche that online recipes all start with a long-winded story before getting down to the actual recipe. But for this recipe, there’s a story really worth telling.
Kids of Courage is an organization that provides adventure experiences for children and young adults with physical disabilities or chronic illnesses. Since 2013 I’ve had the honor of photographing these events as a volunteer. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to make new friends whom I might never have met without this common bond.
One such friend was a young man named Chesky Rosenberg. About 2 years older than my eldest son, we first met when he was a young teenager zooming around in his motorized wheelchair as a free spirit. But as the years moved on, I noticed a dignity in Chesky as he got older. He, along with his younger brother Mendy, wore his chassidish levush with pride. When they were still able, they used motor scooters on Shabbos with a sign on the back proudly announcing their compatibility with hilchos Shabbos.
And Chesky always had a positive word for everyone. He enjoyed discussing his passion for computers. He was proud of his development of technology that adapts necessary medical and mobility equipment so they can be used on Shabbos k’halacha. Chesky was very friendly in a respectful and appropriate way. He never spoke lashon hara, and avoided calling me by my first name. He made time for his daily learning and my son enjoyed a “chavusah-shaft” with him on one KOC weekend. My husband and I spent quite a few Friday evenings on these trips shmoozing with Chesky.
One thing Chesky always wanted was to host people for Shabbos. He invited our family so many times over the years, but we don’t generally go away for Shabbos. So we never went. Chesky passed away on Hoshana Raba, and in the days after, among other things, I felt such regret that I never accepted that Shabbos invitation. I expressed that regret and Mendy, his brother, said the invitation was still open. So when the right Shabbos presented itself earlier this winter, we went to the Rosenbergs in Monsey for Shabbos.
Over the years, I’d heard a lot about Mr. and Mrs. Rosenberg from their sons. The love and respect for their parents (and their older sisters) was always obvious in the way they spoke of them. But sadly the first time I met the family was at the shivah for Chesky A”H.
Over Shabbos, I saw just a little bit of the greatness of these parents. I saw their warm relationship with their married children and grandchildren who all spend time in their home over Shabbos, as well as with their younger children. I saw the way their house was laid out to be as accommodating as possible to the motorized wheelchairs, but still completely warm and welcoming and decorated with traditional style. And I experienced the incredible baking done by Mindy Rosenberg. Elementary school principal by day, mother and grandmother around the clock, Mindy is an excellent baker in her “spare” time.
The variety of baked goods served over Shabbos was extensive, but I was sold by the words chocolate mint. Mendy served two different versions of mint brownies to try. Immediately after Shabbos, I asked Mindy if she’d share the recipe of my favorite with all of you here on Between Carpools and she graciously wrote it up and gave me specific instructions so we can all enjoy them.
Before I share the recipe, I just want to ask that if you make these brownies, please say a mezonos out loud l’ilui nishmas Yecheskel Elimelech ben y”blct Chanoch Henoch.
In a 9×13 pan,
combine the sugar and oil.
Add the cocoa and eggs,
and mix again.
Add flour, baking powder
and peppermint oil
You can buy this oil online or in specialty baking stores. It is very intense and you need to use the it sparingly.
and mix well.
Crush the chocolate bar
and gently fold the pieces
into the ready batter.
Let cool and freeze for a short while.
Spread frosting on the cake
with an offset spatula.
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup oil
- ½ cup cocoa
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp peppermint oil (not extract) You can buy this online or in specialty baking stores. It is very intense and you need to use the oil sparingly.
- 1 bar mint dark chocolate
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup oil
- ⅓ cup cocoa
- 4 tablespoons corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- Scant ⅛ tsp peppermint oil
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
- In a 9x13 pan (we strongly recommend a non-disposable pan), combine the sugar and oil. Then add the cocoa and eggs, and mix again. Add flour, baking powder and peppermint oil and mix well.
- In a Ziploc bag, crush the chocolate bar using a rolling pin or mallet. Gently fold the pieces into the ready batter. Bake 25-30 minutes until just baked through. Let cool. Freeze for a short while so the frosting will be easier to spread.
- Meanwhile, combine frosting ingredients in a bowl. Spread on the cake with an offset spatula. Slice into rectangles while the brownie is partially frozen. We recommend keeping the brownies frozen until just before serving.
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