Grasshopper Bars with real Creme de menthe

Adapted from Baked Explorations. Copyright © 2010. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Ingredients

serves 12 large brownies or 24 small brownies, active time 1 hour, total time 3 hours

  • For the brownie base:
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
  • 5 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the buttercream:
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened but still cool, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons creme de menthe
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • For the chocolate glaze:
  • 6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes  

Procedures

  1. To make the brownie base: Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Butterthe sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9-by-13-inchpan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter theparchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, andcocoa powder.
  3. Configurea large size double boiler. Place the chocolate and the butter in thebowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate andbutter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keepthe bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whiskthe sugars until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan. Themixture should be at room temperature.
  4. Addthree eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until justcombined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat thebatter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
  5. Sprinklethe flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate. Using a spatula (do notuse a whisk) fold the dry ingredients into the wet until there is justa trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.
  6. Pourthe batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with an offsetspatula, and bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, rotating halfwaythrough the baking time. The brownies should be just a tad underdone(not too gooey, but ideally, just 1 minute from being cooked throughcompletely). A toothpick inserted into the brownies at an angle shouldcontain a few loose crumbs. Remove the brownies from the oven and letcool completely while you make the creme de menthe filling.
  7. To make the buttercream:In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flourtogether. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whiskingoccasionally until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, 5 to 7minutes.
  8. Transferthe mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddleattachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low andadd the butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase thespeed to medium-high and beat until filling is light and fluffy.
  9. Addthe creme de menthe and peppermint extract and mix until combined. Ifthe filling is too soft, chill slightly in the refrigerator and thenmix again until it is the proper consistency.
  10. Ifthe filling is too firm, place the bowl over a pot of simmering waterand re-mix to proper consistency. Spread the filling evenly across thetop of the brownie layer and place the pan in the refrigerator, for aminimum of 45 minutes, while you make the chocolate glaze.
  11. To make the chocolate glaze:In a large non-reactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup,and butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook,stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth.Remove the bowl from the pan and stir vigorously for 1 minute torelease excess heat.
  12. Pourthe mixture over the chilled creme de menthe layer and use an offsetspatula to spread it into an even layer. Place the pan back in therefrigerator for 1 hour, or until the glaze hardens.
  13. Removethe pan from the refrigerator, wait about 15 minutes for the glaze tosoften slightly, and cut the bars with a warm knife. Cut into squaresand serve immediately.

    Note: The bars can be stored in the refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.

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