2020 Update: In 2012, when I first published this post, the recipe was for muffins. When I revamped both the recipe and the photos, I decided to make it even easier to make these by turning muffins into brownies. Feel free to divide the batter up into muffin cups and top with the cream cheese mixture. They go down deliciously in either form.
Christmas and mint. How did they become an item? The red-and-white-swirled candy canes dangling from stuffed stockings? The tiny pastel-colored, melt-away candies piled in bowls that appear only in December? The Santa- and snowman-shaped chocolate candies filled with a gooey mint center? Or maybe the cool of mint recalls drifts of snow and icy winds. I won’t fight it. Mint reminds me of Christmas.
This is the classic chocolate cream cheese brownies you love but with a cool hint of mint and without the dairy (and a little less guilt). I’ll take one of these over a candy cane any day.
Other baked goods you may like:
- Whole Grain Banana Muffins with Flaxseeds and Dates
- Chocolate Biscotti with Chocolate Chips & Goji Berries
- Almond Butter Chocolate Oat & Seed Squares
- Loaded Morning Muffins with Crumb Topping
- Oatmeal Stout Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Date & Orange Stuffed Cookies (Maamoul)
Christmas, mint and chocolate are a match made in a winter wonderland! These cake-like brownies are a wholesome indulgence you can make any time of year.
Mint Cream Cheese:
- 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked for 15+ minutes in hot water
- 1/8 cup silken tofu
- 2.5 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. pure peppermint extract
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F and line a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan with parchment (or coat lightly with oil). Set aside.
Make the cream cheese:
- In a blender or food processor, add all of the cream cheese ingredients and process until very smooth. If you need to, add an additional tablespoon or two of nut milk. Taste and adjust for sweetness and mintiness. Set aside.
Make the batter:
- In a double boiler (or place a small glass bowl over a pot that has about 1-inch of water in it), warm the nut milk and Sunbutter. When hot, remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips and peppermint extract. Whisk until the chips are thoroughly melted.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture until there are no dry bits. Fold in the cacao nibs, if using.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and rap the pan on the counter a few times. Now pour all of the cream cheese mixture on top and using a knife, make deep slices into the brownie batter, pulling it up and over the cream cheese. Do this until you are satisfied with the distribution.
- Bake brownies for about 25-30 minutes – do not overbake – and remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the pan before slicing.
Substitute chocolate chips for the cacao nibs to go extra chocolatey.
This is a cake-like rather than chewy brownie.
Keywords: baking, chocolate, mint, cream cheese, brownies, easy, snack, peppermint