Matteson Squares

Here it is: the holy grail of Christmas cookies.  Fudgy brownies topped with a layer of mint buttercream and a hard chocolate shell on top.

For as long as I can remember, these have been everyone’s favorite.  When my mom’s family gets together, these cookies are in high demand and we almost always devour them within minutes of the tray being set out.

I’m sure our family isn’t the only one to make these, but the recipe I use is written in my grandmother’s handwriting on an index card titled “Matteson Squares” (her maiden name).  I always make some with red food coloring and some with green (although in our family, green is more traditional).  Don’t be deterred by the unsweetened chocolate in the topping.  It is a perfect counterpoint to the sweet, creamy mint frosting. 

Merry Christmas!

makes 1 13×9 pan

Brownie layer:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
pinch salt

Melt together the chocolate and butter.  Set aside to cool.
Beat the eggs and sugar together.  Add the flour and salt, stir, and then add the chocolate.  
Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan (I line the bottom with parchment too), and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 F.
Remove pan from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Mint layer:
3 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp soft butter
4 tbsp milk
1 tsp mint extract
a few drops of food coloring

Beat in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.  Spread on cooled brownies and chill.

Chocolate layer:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp butter
Melt together chocolate and butter.  Pour over mint layer and spread to distribute evenly.  Chill until firm.
Before cutting into squares, bring the pan to room temperature so chocolate doesn’t shatter.

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