Gluten Free Peppermint Patty Brownies

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A small batch of gluten free peppermint patty brownies combine fudgy almond flour brownies, peppermint infused butter-free frosting, and a rich chocolate shell, into one delectable Christmas treat!  The gluten free brownies are pure bliss and can be cut into small candy squares or large traditional brownies.

Chocolate and peppermint are a classic flavor duo and deserve a spotlight during the holidays.  I mean, I don’t know if you can have a Christmas dessert lineup without something that is chocolate and peppermint.

And if you’re looking for even more of the cool wintery combo, check out the peppermint mocha mini layer cake, the gluten free chocolate peppermint cookies, or the chocolate peppermint thumbprint cookies.  Plus we can’t forget the hot chocolate peppermint brownies – a gluten brownie that has a pool silky ganache in the middle!

Gluten Free Peppermint Patty Brownies

Three incredible layers make these brownies especially tasty.  And in the spirit of the holidays, this dessert is rich enough that the brownies can double as a festive little candy, or the sweet chocolate bars they are!

  • Gluten Free Fudgy Brownies – Made with an almond flour blend, and you would never know they are gluten free.  The brownies are rich in cocoa flavor, subtly sweet, and perfectly fudgy.
  • Peppermint Butter Free Frosting – The butter free frosting bears a close resemblance to the filling in a peppermint patty candy!  And if you want to make the brownies even more chocolatey, try my butter free chocolate frosting instead!
  • Easy Chocolate Shell – With only two ingredients, and the microwave, you have an easy chocolate shell!
A pan of peppermint patty gluten free brownies cut into squares on a piece of parchment paper.

Everything You Need To Make gluten free peppermint brownies

Brownie Ingredients

  • Egg
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Coconut Oil
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Almond Flour
  • Tapioca Flour
  • Dutch Cocoa Powder
  • Salt

Frosting Ingredients

  • Unsweetened Canned Coconut Milk
  • Coconut Oil
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Peppermint Extract
  • Salt

Chocolate Shell Ingredients

  • Chocolate Chips
  • Coconut Oil

Baking Equipment

  • Eighth Size Baking Sheet
  • Foil
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Small Saucepan
  • Hand Held Mixer

Tips For How To Make And Assemble Peppermint Patty Brownies

First, don’t be worried by the number of ingredients and steps.  This is an extremely easy gluten free brownie recipe. 

Plus, there are 3 different components to these gluten free peppermint brownies, so each must have clear ingredients and steps!  Furthermore, a lot of the ingredients crossover from one component to the next.

gluten free Brownie Tips

  • Baking pan options – The brownies can be made a few different baking pans.  I use an eighth size baking sheet which yields a thinner brownie.  For slightly thicker brownies use a 6-inch square cake pan or 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • Line the baking pan with foil and lightly grease it – This will keep the brownies from sticking and it makes assembling and removing the brownies from the pan easy.
  • The brownies are rich – After all, they are a fudgy brownie, covered in frosting, covered in chocolate.  So the small eighth size baking sheet may be worth considering to have a more balanced bite!
  • Use Dutch process cocoa – I prefer Dutch cocoa for all my chocolate baking recipes because it has a bold chocolate flavor.  Plus, it isn’t as acidic as natural cocoa.
  • Coconut sugar doesn’t taste like coconut – In fact, the only flavor that comes through is sweet.  And I find this especially true when it is combined with chocolate.  Just like in my gluten free chocolate cupcakes!
  • Use any chocolate chip you like – I use semi-sweet chocolate in the brownies and chocolate shell so the brownies are not cloyingly sweet.  
  • Freeze the brownies – I keep my leftovers in the freezer and pull out a square or two a few minutes before I want to devour it.  This keeps the peppermint brownies intact, the chocolate hard, and the cool bite is incredible!

Frosting Tips

  • Check out the original frosting recipe for tips – The butter free frosting is easy to make, but if you want to see even more tips and faq’s, check out the original recipe.
  • Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight – To separate the coconut liquid and solids.  We use the coconut solids for the frosting.
  • Be patient – And this is really true for any frosting.  It takes a few minutes for the frosting to whip up creamy and fluffy.  Just like it does when making a good buttercream.
  • Taste the frosting and add more peppermint – A little peppermint extract goes a long way.  Taste the frosting as you go and add a dash or two more of peppermint if you want a stronger flavor.

Chocolate Shell Tips

  • Don’t overheat the chocolate – Or it will seize up.  Heat it until there are just small pieces of chocolate.  As you stir the warm melted chocolate, those little pieces will melt.
  • Let the chocolate cool for a couple minutes – Before you go pouring hot chocolate over the frosting.  Otherwise, the frosting will melt.  Messy!
Small lopsided stack of gluten free peppermint patty brownies with candy cane sprinkles.

Ingredient Substitutions For small batch Gluten Free peppermint Brownies

As the recipe is written, is how it has been tested.  So I am not able to offer a lot of advice on swapping out ingredients.  However, based on my small batch and gluten free baking experience, I can offer a few ideas.

  • Coconut sugar – The coconut sugar can be swapped with granulated white sugar 1:1.  
  • Tapioca Flour – Also referred to as starch, can be swapped with arrowroot flour or corn starch 1:1.
  • Coconut OilIn the brownies only – you can try using all butter or a different neutral oil.
  • Dutch Cocoa Powder – Try natural cocoa powder.  Just be aware that the brownies may be slightly more acidic.
  • No Frosting Ingredient Swaps – Unless you want to replace the frosting all together and use store-bought frosting.  
  • No Chocolate Shell Swaps – You can certainly omit the coconut oil, but I like to use it because it makes the chocolate melt smooth and shiny.
Christmas brownies squares stacked in a small rectangle serving dish.

faq’s: small batch gluten free peppermint patty brownies

Can this recipe be doubled?

I have not tested a doubling the batch, but if you try it, let me know how it turns out!

Can I swap (insert ingredient) with (insert ingredient)?

See the section above for possible ingredient swaps.

Will a 1:1 gluten free flour work instead of the almond flour?

I can’t say for certain as I don’t work with 1:1 blends. I find they are much drier and other ingredient ratios would probably need to be adjusted.

How do I get clean, sharp slices when I cut the brownies?

Freeze the brownies after you assemble them. Then cut them into squares. And, use a really good sharp knife!

Do the brownies taste gluten free?

No. In fact, I’m sure anyone that tries one would have a hard time telling they are gluten free.

What does the peppermint frosting taste like?

Think of the filling in a peppermint candy frosting. The frosting has a similar taste and texture to store-bought tub frosting.

Do I have to freeze the brownies?

No, but I recommend it. For both cutting clean slices and storing. The chocolate shell and frosting will stay set if they are cool.

A pretty stack of peppermint patty gluten free brownies set on a table.
Bright chocolate shell on a gluten free peppermint brownie square.
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Peppermint Patty Gluten Free Brownies

Yield: 12 Small Brownies
A small batch of gluten free peppermint patty brownies combine fudgy almond flour brownies, peppermint infused butter-free frosting, and a rich chocolate shell, into one delectable Christmas treat!  The gluten free brownies are pure bliss and can be cut into small candy squares or large traditional brownies.
Prep20 mins
Cook23 mins
Total46 mins

Equipment

  • 1 – Eighth Size Baking Sheet or 6-Inch Square Cake Pan

Ingredients

Gluten Free Brownies

Peppermint Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons cold pressed refined coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened canned coconut milk, full fat (only the cream from the can)
  • 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (more or less to taste)
  • pinch salt

Chocolate Shell

Instructions

Gluten Free Brownies

  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line an eighth size baking sheet completely with aluminum foil to cover the bottom and sides of the baking sheet. Lightly grease the aluminum foil. Note – The brownies can also be made in a 6-inch square cake pan or 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the egg, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk the mixture very well for a couple of minutes until it is creamy and foamy. This helps create the crinkly and shiny brownie tops. Note – I like to mix the egg and sugar as the first step because it helps to 'dissolve' the coconut sugar. I will even go back and whisk the mix a couple of times while I'm waiting for the chocolate to melt.
  • Melt the chocolate – In another small mixing bowl, add the chocolate chips, butter, and coconut oil. You can either melt the chocolate over a double boiler (see Notes for details), or in the microwave in 30 second increments – stirring after each – until the chocolate chips are mostly melted. A few small chocolate lumps are ok because they will melt with the residual heat. Set aside and let cool for a couple of minutes – adding too hot of chocolate to the egg mixture and the egg will scramble.
  • While the chocolate is melting – In a small bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and stir until incorporated. Then sprinkle the dry ingredients over the top of the wet and stir until no dry streaks remain.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake the brownies for 20 to 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean – we want a few moist crumbs for fudgy brownies.
  • Cool the brownies in the baking sheet set on a wire rack. The brownies must be completely cool before assembling and frosting.

Peppermint Frosting

  • Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight. This causes the coconut cream and liquid to separate in the can. We only use the cream from the can. For leftover coconut cream, use it in smoothies, overnight oats, or whipped cream.
  • In a small saucepan, add the coconut milk solids, solid coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar. Heat over medium-low heat and stir the mix with a spatula until it has completely melted together – this should only take about 1 minute. Do not boil. The mixture will resemble a creamy soup.
  • Transfer the mix to a small mixing bowl and stir in the peppermint extract. Let cool to room temperature – about 10 to 15 minutes. You still want the mix to be be liquid when you add the powdered sugar. Note – You can also refrigerate it for a few minutes to speed up the cool down.
  • Add the remaining powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments at a time. Using a handheld mixer fitted with the whisk attachments, add a 1/4 cup of the powered sugar and salt to the coconut mixture. Start at low speed to incorporate the powdered sugar and avoid having it spray everywhere. Turn up the speed to high and beat for 1 minute. At this point, the frosting will look sticky and gooey.
  • Continue to add a 1/4 cup of powdered sugar at a time – beating for at least 1 minute after each addition. With the final 1/4 cup, beat the frosting for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and creamy. The frosting should be thick and creamy and resemble the store-bought frosting you buy in the small tubs at the grocery. If the frosting still looks loose, refrigerate it for about 10 minutes, then beat for a couple more minutes until it thickens.
  • Taste the frosting – if you want a stronger peppermint flavor add stir in an extra dash or two of the peppermint extract.
  • The frosting is ready to use right away or can be refrigerated. If refrigerating, the frosting will firm even more. Allow refrigerated frosting to come to room temperature and stir/mix to fluff before frosting.
  • Assemble the brownies – Evenly spread the peppermint frosting over the completely cool pan of brownies. Place the brownie pan in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to give the frosting time to chill.

Chocolate Shell

  • Finish assembling the brownies – Once the frosting has chilled, make the chocolate shell.
  • In a small heat-proof mixing bowl, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring after each, until the chocolate is mostly melted. A few small chocolate lumps are ok because they will melt with the residual heat.
  • Let the chocolate cool for 2 to 3 minutes – so it doesn't melt the frosting. Pour the chocolate over the frosted brownies. Use an offset spatula to evenly spread the chocolate to coat the brownies. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, and place the assembled brownies back in the freezer for another 20 to 30 minutes to give the chocolate time to set, and make cutting the brownies easier.
  • Remove the assembled and chilled brownies from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut the brownies and Enjoy!
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Notes

  • Serving Size – This is a small batch recipe.  The number of brownies you get from the batch will depend on how large you cut them.  I got 12 small brownies from the eighth size baking sheet.
  • Baking Pan – The small baking sheet will yield slightly thinner brownies.  For thicker brownies, use a 6-inch square cake pan.
  • Double Boiler – Use a mixing bowl that is large enough to sit on top of a small saucepan without touching the bottom.  Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer and set the bowl on top of the saucepan.  Heat until the chocolate is mostly melted, stirring occasionally to incorporate the ingredients.  A few lumps are ok because they will melt in the residual heat.  This is my preferred method for melting the chocolate, butter, and oil because I can monitor the melting.  Heat too long, and the chocolate may seize up.
  • Fudgier Brownies – If you prefer a super fudgy brownie, check and take the brownies out of the oven a 20 minutes.  Leave in longer if you prefer your brownies not as moist.  
  • Frosting Tips – See my blog post for butter free vanilla frosting for more tips and tricks to make the dairy free frosting.
  • Freeze Leftovers – I recommend storing leftover brownies in the freezer.  This will keep them  intact and they are incredibly decadent when a little cold!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

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