If mint chocolate chips are not available, place 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract in a plastic bag; seal and toss to coat. Allow chips to stand for 24-48 hours.
Heather McKinley of Mechanic Falls, Maine shared this minty twist on typical cupcakes, then our Test Kitchen arranged them in a tree shape for a pretty presentation. The star on the top of the tree and cute packages tucked beneath are a snap to make with colorful candies.
One of the best things about this recipe is that the brownies get moister if you leave them in the refrigerator for a day or two. The problem at our house is no one can leave them alone for that long! —Helen Baines, Elkton, Maryland
"Are they a brownie or are they a cupcake?" There's no wrong answer to this question, I tell my first-grade students. I found the recipe when I began teaching nearly 20 years ago. I grew up on a farm in north-central Alberta and love to bake for my husband, a psychologist, and our children. —Carol Maertz, Spruce Grove, Alberta