Mint Pesto Brownies Served with Mint Cream
Mint Pesto

1/2 cup macadamia nuts
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, briefly chop the nuts before adding the remaining ingredients.  Puree until reduced to a paste.  If not using right away, transfer to a glass container, lay plastic wrap over the top so it is touching thus keeping air from penetrating the pesto.  Store in refrigerator for up to a month. 
Yield: about 1 cup


Mint Pesto Brownies

To swirl the pesto into the brownies, try placing the pesto into a small plastic bag with a corner snipped off.  Pipe lines of pesto going one direction and then run a knife through the lines in the opposite direction to swirl.   

6 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup mint pesto

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Light butter or coat with non-stick spray the bottom only of an 8-inch square baking pan.  

Melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth.  Stir in sugar.  Beat in eggs and vanilla then lightly stir in the flour.  Turn batter into prepared pan. Swirl the mint pesto into the batter. 

Bake for about 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  For best results, allow to cool completely before cutting. 

Mint Cream

4 mint sprigs, each 4 to 6 inches long
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 drops vanilla extract

Several hours or the night before serving, lightly bruise mint sprigs and place in a bowl.

Pour whipping cream over mint, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

An hour before serving, remove the mint. Begin whipping the cream with whisk or egg beater. As cream thickens, add powdered sugar a bit at a time.

Add 3 drops vanilla extract and finish whipping the cream until it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate until serving time.

From Full Moon Natives recipe files