Ganache-Topped Mint Brownies

Mint Cheesecake:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon mint extract
4 drops green food dye, if desired

Brownies:
2 sticks butter, melted
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons water
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Ganache Topping:
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 egg, mint extract and food dye until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl mix together 2 cups of sugar, melted butter and the water. Beat in 3 eggs and vanilla extract. Sift together flour, cocoa powder baking powder and salt and stir into the wet ingredients. Pour into a greased or parchment-lined 9″x13″ pan and spread evenly. Top with mint cheesecake mixture. Bake at 350° F for 30-35 minutes or until set.

When the brownies are out of the oven and cool start making the ganache. In a saucepan over medium heat bring the butter and cream just to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate pieces until completely melted. Pour over the brownies. Spread to cover and store in the refrigerator.

Makes 20-24 brownies.

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