[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

Every year around this time, people inevitably reference A Christmas Carol. They hold up Ebenezer Scrooge as both a warning and an example: look at how you can come to love Christmas and hold it in your heart. Well, I don't need their warnings. I'm a Fred Scrooge through and through. I love this season without so much as a peep of convincing.

That definitely includes Christmastime flavors, all heady with warm spices and packed with dried fruit and nuts. If it were allowed, I'd make my wedding cake a tiered fruit cake-stollen-panettone concoction and serve a variety of cookies on the side. (In fact, that might solve my guest list issue. I'm pretty sure half the invites just wouldn't come.) And then, oh then, there is everywhere, in everything, the pairing of chocolate and peppermint. Strangely, I don't like peppermint on its own—don't bother offering me that stick of gum—but I love it with chocolate. And I especially love peppermint bark: crunchy peppermint candy embedded in two thin layers of bittersweet chocolate and creamy white chocolate.

This year I thought I'd up the peppermint bark ante by making them into brownies. The base brownies are deeply chocolatey and fudgy, moist and almost a tad undercooked (the only way for brownies to be, in my opinion). The peppermint bark adds pops of creamy, vanilla scented white chocolate as well as the occasional crunch of the peppermint. Because the peppermint bark is very sweet, make sure to use unsweetened chocolate, such as Bakers, for the brownie base.

So quick, make them before peppermint bark is gone and your holiday cheer is just plain old fun.

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Peppermint Bark Brownies »

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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