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Luck of the Irish
Family Festivities for St. Patrick's Day

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Chocolate Mint Brownies

(Family Features) - This St. Patrick's Day, entertain your little leprechauns with delicious treats and fun activities that will lead them to their pot of gold.

Every year in March, families celebrate the annual Irish tradition of St. Patrick's Day with a variety of celebrations. Whether it's attending a parade or preparing and enjoying an elaborate Irish meal, everyone has their own favorite ways to celebrate the holiday. Set your own unique traditions and rituals with some ideas below.

Pass Along the Luck
Have kids put together lucky treat bags to pass along to neighbors. These treat bags could include cut-out, decorated and customized four-leaf clovers, chocolate coins and other goodies. Then, on St. Patrick's Day, walk around as a family and surprise neighbors with these bags.

Treasure Hunt
Set up a treasure hunt for family and friends by placing chocolate gold coins around the house. Give them a series of clues and riddles to help them figure out where to look for the coins. Equip each "hunter" with their own pot or basket for collecting the gold coins. At the end of the hunt, reward them for their hard work with some festive brownies. These delicious Chocolate Mint Brownies can be decorated with green gumdrops formed into shamrocks or other holiday candies. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to make these treats even more festive.

For more delicious baking ideas, visit www.BettyCrocker.com.

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Ingredients
Brownie Base
  • 1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
Filling
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
  • 4 drops green food color
Topping
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)

Preparation
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease only bottom of 13 x 9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
    2. In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.
    3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm.
    4. Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. For easier cutting, cut brownies with a wet knife. Store covered in refrigerator.

SOURCE: Betty Crocker



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