It’s St. Patrick’s Day season, where we think about the color green, shamrocks, leprechauns, and a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. When I was a kid I always looked forward to the Shamrock shake at McDonald’s most of all. Every year at this time, I had to have it! That’s probably why every St. Patrick’s Day I want some type of minty ice cream based dessert. These Thin Mint Ice Cream Brownie Cupcakes take the cake…or brownie, rather…and make it a la mode with Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies mixed into vanilla ice cream. It’s topped with chocolate ganache, whipped cream, more ganache, sprinkles. Leprechauns everywhere are dancing wildly! Who needs a pot of gold?! 😉
Last May I was in charge of making dessert for a school pool party, and it occurred to me that I needed to find a way to make an ice cream cupcake. Ice cream cakes are so good, but they’re a royal pain to deal with. I wanted something single serving size that kids could just grab and go. After tons of research, I landed on Joy the Baker’s blog and found her Brownie Bottom Ice Cream Cupcakes. Basically, they’re brownies a la mode, which is one of my favorite desserts ever. They were a raging success, to say the least! I used cookies and cream ice cream for that event, but you can use any flavor you want! 🙂
There are a few steps involved, but none of them are difficult! You can space them out any which way you want to. First off, you bake the brownies. You can use your favorite mix, or bake your favorite recipe. I’ve included Bon Appetit’s Fudgy Brownie Recipe here because it’s the one that Joy used in her version. You need to use foil liners as they’re nice and sturdy for the ice cream. I put a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie into the bottom of each foil liner because I’ve got to get rid of these things! 🙂
From there, one tablespoon of brownie batter goes into each foil liner, right over that Thin Mint cookie.
Spread the batter evenly over the bottom, and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Once the brownies are cool, place them, muffin tin and all, in the freezer for 30 minutes. At this time, remove the ice cream from the freezer and place in the refrigerator to soften while the brownies freeze.
Now for the DIY Thin Mint ice cream. I had 1/2 gallon of Dreyer’s Slow Churned Light vanilla ice cream, so I crushed about 8-10 Thin Mint cookies, along with about 4 drops of green food coloring, and mixed it all into the ice cream Cold Stone Creamery style. I know I could’ve just bought mint chocolate chip ice cream, but why do that when I had vanilla and Thin Mint cookies?? 😀 At this point, the frozen brownies can be removed from the freezer. I used a cookie scoop to scoop the ice cream onto the brownie layer, and used the back of it to smooth out the top.
Place the cupcakes back into the freezer immediately so the ice cream can refreeze for 45 minutes to an hour. This is a great time to make your chocolate ganache and whipped cream. Let the ganache sit out to come to room temperature, and you can store the whipped cream in the fridge until the cupcakes are nice a frozen. Who can resist this beautiful, chocolatey ganache? Not me!
Once the cupcakes have refrozen, remove them from the freezer and top with a dollop of ganache. Place back in the freezer once more.
Remove the cupcakes from the freezer about 5 minutes before serving time. Serve with whipped cream and sprinkles. Grab a napkin, peel back the foil, and enjoy your Thin Mint Ice Cream Brownie Cupcake. This may not be a pot ‘o gold, but it’s the next best thing! 😉
- Brownies (Bon Appetit Fudgy Brownies, October 1991):
- 24 Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, optional
- ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 large eggs plus one egg yolk
- 1⅛ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
- 8-10 crushed Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies
- 4-5 drops food coloring, optional
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (mini or regular)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line (2) standard muffin tins with foil liners. If using, place one Thin Mint cookie in each foil liner. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Stir the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Heat until melted and smooth. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until well incorporated. Stir in the butter and chocolate mixture until well combined. Add the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the brownie batter into each foil liner. Bake 6-8 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack until the brownies are room temperature. Place the brownies, tin and all, in the freezer for 30 minutes. At this time, place the ice cream in the refrigerator to soften while the brownies freeze.
- Once softened, remove the ice cream from the refrigerator. Place in a large bowl and mix in the crushed Thin Mints and green food coloring. Remove the brownies from the freezer. Using a cookie scoop, place a scoop of ice cream over the top of each brownie, smoothing the ice cream with the back of it. Place the brownie cupcakes back into the freezer immediately to refreeze for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Place the chocolate chips and ¼ cup heavy cream in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted and the cream is incorporated. Let stand at room temperature.
- Whip the heavy cream on medium speed for one minute. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until the cream thickens and stiff peaks form. Store in the refrigerator until serving time.
- When the ice cream has become firm, remove the cupcakes from the freezer and place a dollop of chocolate ganache on the top of each one. Place back in the freezer until it's time serve.
- Let the cupcakes stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with the fresh whipped cream, and sprinkles, if desired. Grab a napkin, remove the foil, and enjoy!
You can make these ahead! Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the freezer.
Adapted from Joy the Baker's Brownie Bottom Ice Cream Cupcakes