Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (gluten-free, paleo)
Delicious gluten-free and paleo mini skillet brownies are topped with a dairy-free and vegan fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream.
As I was planning this recipe and post I started thinking about traditions. Those same things you do year after year on a special day. And to be honest, I don’t have many (at least not that I can recall at this moment). But there’s one I do have, every year, that’s pretty much set in stone….my birthday cake!
When I was 5 years old, I was admitted to the hospital the day before my birthday (good timing mom – ha) to have my tonsils removed. I’d had a lot of bronchial infections and strep throat as a child and back in the 80’s tonsil-removal was a common procedure. Tonsils inflamed….oh, let’s yank ’em! In hindsight, it was likely an indicator of my wonky immune system and early stage autoimmune conditions (as I continued to have issues even after the surgery), but you only know what you know at any point in time. (*Sidenote: since I removed gluten and totally revamped my diet and lifestyle four years ago – I haven’t been sick once. No bronchial infections, no colds, no seasonal allergies, no ezcema. Score one for team Downshiftology!).
So I have my tonsils removed and turn 6 on the day I’m discharged from the hospital. Happy birthday to me! Not being able to eat much except popsicles and ice cream, you know, healthy recovery food, cold treats become my sustenance for the next couple of days. And my birthday cake becomes an ice cream cake with my two favorite flavors – chocolate cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream.
For 30 years that cake was my tradition and the week before my birthday I’d always call Baskin and Robbins to have that combo ready to go. Then, four years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease and my birthday cake tradition got thrown a curve ball as Baskin and Robbins (obvs) doesn’t do gluten-free chocolate cake. I was just gonna go without, then my former corporate marketing team came to the rescue and surprised me at the office with gluten-free chocolate cake topped with mint chocolate chip gelato. It seriously made my day (and made me teary eyed).
Since then, I’ve kept the mint + chocolate flavor tradition but have gotten creative with the form and shape of what that looks like (cakes, smoothies, cupcakes, pies, etc). And to be honest, it’s kinda fun coming up with a new recipe every year. As long as I can stick a candle in it, I’m a happy girl!
So this year I present to you an extra special mint + chocolate dessert…..for my 40th birthday!!! A mini skillet brownie (that’s just the cutest) topped with fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream. Fresh being the key word…from actual mint leaves. It’s a more subtle peppermint flavor but delicious. Of course, you can always add peppermint extract if you don’t want to go to the extra effort. The ice cream will also be a slightly grey/green color ’cause it’s all natural. I’ll take that over green dye number whatever any day. The entire recipe is also gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo.
I’m posting this recipe today (my actual birthday is the 31st) because I’m hopping on a flight tomorrow to New York to celebrate with a bunch of girlfriends. Yay! To help in the celebrations, Vitamix is generously donating one Professional Series 750 Blender (the exact same as mine pictured below) for me to giveaway to one of YOU, my lovely readers. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I’m very selective with the brands I partner with and only promote stuff I use myself. I’ve now used my Vitamix for 3 years I can honestly say that I’d be lost without it. It’s the one appliance that gets used DAILY in my kitchen. Smoothies, soups, sauces, you name it. And of course, ice creams like today’s recipe (and this one, this one or this one).
So enter the giveaway below. Then, whip up these mini skillet brownies. Even if you don’t win the giveaway, you’ll definitely win with this delicious dessert.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Giveaway open to US residents.
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)
- 1 can (13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- Roughly chop the mint leaves (no stems) and set aside.
- Heat the coconut milk and honey on medium heat, stirring until just simmering and bubbles form around the edge. Keep a close eye on it as the milk will quickly boil over. Turn off the heat, add the mint leaves, stir and cover. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour, to fully infuse.
- Strain the milk mixture over a fine mesh sieve and use the back of a large spoon or spatula to push down on the mint leaves to extract as much of the flavoring as possible.
- Pour the milk and remaining ice cream ingredients (except the chopped dark chocolate) to a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer the ice cream to a covered bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The more chilled the better.
- Pour the ice cream into an ice cream maker and proceed according to maker directions. Add the chopped dark chocolate in the last minute to combine into the ice cream.
- Place the ice cream into a small loaf pan and chill in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours.
- To make the skillet brownies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- In a double-boiler, melt the butter and chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the cacao powder, sugar, arrowroot powder and salt. Stir the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl, then add them to the dry ingredients and stir. Add the melted chocolate and butter to the mixing bowl and whisk together for 2-3 minutes.
- Divide the brownie batter evenly between 4 mini cast iron skillets. Place the skillets on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes or until set in the center. These are best not over-baked.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Place the skillet on a plate and serve with a scoop of fresh mint ice cream.
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