As a poor AF student in college, I lived on ramen and rice. Saved pennies. Pinched and scrimped. Occasionally, would splurge on a $0.79 bean burrito in the cafeteria Taco Bell. It was budget-obseession to the max.
But not when it came to BYU mint brownies.
Famous the world over (or at least the state of Utah over), BYU Mint Brownies were the sorts of things you'd splurge on, without worrying about cost. They made them in big sheets, or sold them in giant squares. We loved all versions of these fudgey brownies, topped with a perfectly thick schmear of buttercream, then topped again with another layer of chocolate icing. Absolute perfection.
I refused to leave college until I'd figured out how to make replicate those BYU Mint Brownies in my own kitchen. Finally found a recipe, and made them often. So very often.
But the thing is: they're rather time-consuming to make. First the baking of brownies. Then the making of buttercream. Then the assembling, icing, set time, slicing.
You gotta have a half-afternoon free, minimum.
So today, I wondered if I could shortcut all that all. Making a quick mint cup that tastes just like those buttercream-laced mint tasties. Without the bake time.
Answer: yes. The secret here is a quick stir of ready-to-go brownie bites (or Oreo cookies work, as well) into melted chocolate. Then, whip up a tiny bowl of minty buttercream, and assemble.
Start to finish, these pretty babies taste just like those BYU brownies of yesteryore. But require exactly 20-ish minutes to make.
And now, to attempt to eat just one.
Mint Buttercream Brownie Cups
6 cups | 20 minutes
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp raw honey
- 3-4 drops pure peppermint essential oils or peppermint extract
- 1/4 teaspoon natural green coloring
- 1 (10 oz) bag
- 2 brownie bites or Oreo cookies, crushed
In a bowl, stir together sugar, butter, honey, oils and just enough green coloring to make a pretty mint color. Once smooth, roll into 6 balls, flatten slightly.
Line a muffin tin with parchment cupcake liners. Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl by zapping in 30-second bursts, stirring between, until smooth.
Spoon a small amount of chocolate into the bottom of each of the 6 cups. Place buttermint patties on top. Stir brownie bites into the the remaining chocolate, spoon on top of cups. Refrigerate until firm.