Smooth chocolate glaze that snaps apart the minute your teeth sink in giving way to a burst of minty buttercream and a chewy bite of dense, rich brownie.
Go ahead, gawk. I’ll wait.
These Grasshopper Bars were born out of a desire to use my Baked Explorations cookbook and to make something green and festive for St. Patrick’s Day. Mission: accomplished, on both fronts. I love Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the boys from Baked, and since I can’t go to Red Hook everyday to buy their delicious baked goods, I was eager to try out their recipes.
As you can see, this is a three layered dessert. Three lusciously complementary layers. Each one has its own purpose, but like Captain Planet, when these powers combine, magic happens. First up, the brownie layer.
The brownies are the backbone of these bars. They give the mint buttercream a place to rest under its blanket of chocolate glaze. Placing pretty much anything on top of a gooey brownie elevates it to a new level and the same theory applies here. The key to these brownies is to spread the batter into a thin, even layer so they bake the same throughout and provide their future toppings with a smooth foundation. The boys also note in their recipe that it’s best to under bake the brownies just a tad because the soft, fudgy nature of an underdone brownie is not only freaking fantastic, but lends itself well to serving as the bottom layer of this dessert. Lots of melted chocolate, eggs, flour, cocoa, and a dexterous folding hand help this batter turn out perfectly. Step one, complete.
Sweet, minty green buttercream is up next. Now, the recipe calls for creme de menthe and peppermint extract for that extra boost of mintiness. However, I tend to err on the side of lazy and cheap, so I was planning to just use peppermint extract and green food coloring. But alas, random liquor to the rescue! We had a bottle of creme de menthe cocktail mix that smelled quite minty enough to do the job. It was clear in color though so I still needed a few drops of food coloring to achieve that mint chocolate chip ice cream look. The buttercream whips up into gorgeous fluffy pillows of creamy sweetness just begging to be spread smoothly across the dark layer of cooled brownies.
Honestly, that’s the hardest part of making these bars — not eating each individual step on its own. A pan of freshly baked brownies and a bowl full of mint buttercream would not last long in the wrong hands.
But your patience will soon be rewarded with a decadently rich dark chocolate glaze…
Dark chocolate, butter, and a bit of light corn syrup melt together forming a symphony of complex flavors. The bittersweet chocolate coats the chilled layer of buttercream covering it completely until it resembles a chocolate lake Augustus Gloop wouldn’t think twice about diving into.
Once the rich, shiny chocolate hardens into that final layer of silky smooth perfection, this dessert has achieved its status as a full on triple threat. Each bite fills your mouth with varying textures and devilishly complementary flavors. It really is like eating hand-held mint chocolate chip ice cream. No spoon necessary.