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Aunt Mary's Chocolate Mint Bars

Jamie: If you are a fan of mint and chocolate, then this is the recipe for you. My Aunt Mary was not a big fan of chocolate, but I found this recipe in her file after she passed away. She had terrible handwriting, so she typed everything -- even her checks! I knew she must have liked these bars because she took the time to peck both the recipe's front and back sides out on her old manual typewriter. Give yourself plenty of time to make these; each layer has to cool or set before you can move on to the next step. But the bars are well worth the effort!

BROWNIE LAYER
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon mint flavoring
1 cup all-purpose flour

MINT LAYER
2 tablespoons butter, room temp.
3/4 teaspoon mint flavoring
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk or cream
3 drops of green food coloring (optional)

CHOCOLATE FROSTING
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter, room temp.
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup buttermilk
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray the foil with baking spray; set aside.

2. To prepare brownie layer, in a medium heat-proof bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Place bowl over -- but not in -- a pot of boiling water. Stir constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat; allow mixture to cool slightly.

3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar and mint flavoring; mix well. Add flour gradually to egg mixture, mixing until just combined. Add the sugar mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix together until well combined.

4. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

5. To prepare mint layer, whip butter until light and fluffy. Add the mint flavoring and mix well. Beat in powdered sugar and milk in alternating additions, mixing well between each one. Add green food coloring, if desired. Spread mint mixture evenly over the top of the cooled brownie layer.

6. To prepare frosting, place powdered sugar in a medium bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan combine the butter, cocoa, and buttermilk. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until mixture begins to boil. Pour the boiling chocolate mixture over the powdered sugar; mix until combined well. Stir in salt and vanilla, and mix well.

7. Spread frosting evenly over mint layer. Allow to cool before cutting into bars. Makes 16 bars.

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