As I’ve noted before, it’s important to have a food gameplan when picking Caitlin up from the airport. That means having a restaurant and itinerary picked out in advance of pick-up.
In addition, I also like to have a snack waiting for Caitlin when she arrives – a little something to tide her over during the drive back into the city. Often, the snack is home-made, something sweet that I’ve made either that day, or the day before. Occasionally, though, time gets ahead of me, and I have to settle on something from the store.
But whether it was store-bought or home-made, I had, apparently, developed a steady habit of having a snack in the car on those airport trips. To the point where I had created a nearly Pavlovian connection between the airport and baked goods.
Sure enough, back in late February, I neglected to bring anything in the car when I left my apartment and headed to CVG. I walked with Caitlin back to the parking garage, loaded her suitcase in the back, and watched as she searched, in vain, for that blue container of baked goods. There was nothing hidden, I told her, a pang of guilt in my voice, not realizing the extent of my satisfaction in watching Caitlin enjoy her snack.
With that in mind, I made sure to have a dessert waiting when I pulled up at Atlanta-Hartsfield one night, in early March. This is the dessert that awaited her.*
*I made two versions of this dessert; one with Andes mints in the middle, and one with York peppermint patties in the middle. Between the two, I preferred the peppermint patties. The peppermint patties are thicker, with a slightly stronger mint flavor. Their bright white color also provides a nice color contrast to the chocolate of the brownie.
mint chocolate brownies
Recipe from Martha Stewart.
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 45 to 55 minutes
YIELD: Makes 16 Brownies
WHAT TO GRAB:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
24 small (1 1/2 inch) peppermint patties
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Butter the foil. Set aside.
2. Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water (to form a double-boiler). Stir occasionally, just until melted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Be sure not to let any water get in the melting chocolate, or it will become unworkable.
3. Remove the bowl from the heat. Whisk in the sugar and salt until smooth, then whisk in the eggs. Gently whisk in the flour and cocoa powder just until smooth (do not overmix).
4. Spread 1/3 of batter in the prepared pan. Arrange the peppermint patties on the batter in a single layer, leaving a very narrow border on all sides. Top with the remaining batter, and smooth surface. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 55 minutes (ours was about 50 minutes).
5. Cool completely in the pan. Use the foil to lift from pan, then discard the foil. Cut into squares and serve!