I kind of love and kind of hate that chocolate-mint concoctions are often referred to as grasshopper pie, a grasshopper drink, grasshopper bars, etc. It’s sorta cute, but sorta gross at the same time.
Nonetheless, grasshopper desserts are among my favorites. One of my very favorite desserts that I make, and I use that term verb loosely as assemble would be more appropriate, is a grasshopper pie. Chocolate cookie crust piled high with scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream, slathered with chocolate fudge syrup and then finished with a pillow of whipped cream. A little slice of minty-chocolately-frozen heaven.
Since I love mint-chocolate so much, I was excited to see Grasshopper Bars on the Baked Sunday Mornings schedule. Honestly, when I read through the recipe the first time I was surprised at the amount of work that goes into these. Since my grasshopper pie is assembled out of store-bought products, I can put it together in a few minutes and dirty nothing more than a spatula and an ice cream scoop. The Baked Explorations recipe isn't difficult, but does dirty a few dishes and require a few hours before it’s complete and ready to slice due to the cooling off periods for a couple of layers.
The brownie layer is pretty straightforward and comes together without too much time or effort. The mint layer, or buttercream, as it is referred to in the recipe layer was the most time-consuming and unusual. It starts with what I can only describe as a sweet roux. Flour and sugar are heated with milk and cream until thick and then whipped up with butter and crème de menthe and peppermint extract until fluffy. I initially had some issues with the whipping. My mixture wasn’t fluffing up and was more liquid than frosting. It tasted fine, but I knew the texture was way off. I stuck the mixing bowl in the fridge for a while as directed and then mixed it up again. The mixture separated and looked gritty. Disgusted, I left the mixer running and walked away for a minute instead of tossing it in the trash. My good sense was rewarded with a light and fluffy bowl of goodness that was a gorgeous kiss of green color. Yay!
The middle layer reminds me more of a marshmallow filling than a frosting. Not sticky or sweet like marshmallow, but airy and light. I only used two tablespoons of crème de menthe and found the mint flavor and color to be subtle and perfect. The final layer is a thick blanket of dark chocolate that hardens, adding another texture as well as a deep, rich punch of chocolate.
These were awesome. Rich and decadent, yet light. Cut, they remind me of a super sized
To see what creative ideas the rest of the Baked Sunday Mornings group came up with, go here.
P.S. I've started a new blog called Modern Cameo. It will focus on my other loves: fashion, beauty, travel, decorating, crafting, and anything else that I feel compelled to write about! Check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks!