I was so used to just whipping out a mixer to get things done that I thought I would be fairly limited in what we could make in this temporary place out here. I still needed something fairly easy though, so after some thought, I decided I would try to make Mint Chocolate Squares with some of those minty Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips.
The first thing you do for these squares is make a dough that will end up forming the base and will be also used to create little buttery golden nuggets on top. Sometimes recipes like this will call for you to pre-bake the crust - I decided not to do that here, which gave me some interesting results in the final product. When I usually give them a pre-bake, the crust typically comes out a little more crumbly and it is not always easy to get clean cuts. This time, when I didn't pre-bake, the crust was still golden and very firm, yet it was just tender enough to easily cut through to form clean and tidy squares. The filling is an effortless combination of thick sweetened condensed milk and those minty chips - they are heated together just until the chips melt, darkening the pale milky liquid. A splash of vanilla and a handful of toasted chopped walnuts round out the filling with a sweet nutty crunch. The filling completely solidifies during the baking process, yet retains a softness that allows you to easily sink your teeth through the squares. If you don't groove on chocolate and mint, you could certainly use a dark chocolate for a cleaner flavor. I will have to remember how simple these squares were to whip together when bake-sales pop up or I need to get a quick treat together.
Mint Chocolate Squares