Chocolate and peppermint are a match made in holiday heaven! The addition of instant coffee is optional but highly recommended, as it intensifies the chocolatey flavor. This is a quick and easy, one-bowl recipe that can easily be made gluten-free with the substitution of an all-purpose gf flour blend (I like this one by Bob's Red Mill). I use half oil and half applesauce to keep these slightly lower in fat, but feel free to use the full amount of oil (or even melted vegan butter) to make them extra gooey, moist and decadent. You can also make classic chocolate brownies by simply omitting the crushed candy canes and peppermint extract.