Sunday, August 14, 2011

Baked Sunday Mornings...Grasshopper Bars

Delicious Grasshopper Bars
After being absent from Baked Sunday Mornings for far too many posts, I am back! Making these lovely bars was a bit time consuming but,  definitely worth the effort! Years ago I had a recipe published by Hershey's for a brownie that looked exactly like this. It called for a can of Hershey's syrup to make the brownie part. It made a delicious brownie.  It also called for a chocolate topping similar to this one but, that is where the similarities end! This had such a lovely butter cream...light, fluffy and not at all too sweet. I actually had to make mine twice, because I messed up the first time (maybe that's why it was time consuming, ha!) No matter how long I beat the first batch, it was loose and liquid. It also looked curdled. The secret is to make sure when you have it on the stove top, to let the mixture cook until quite thick. I didn't do that the first time. Also make sure when you add the butter, you do it at low speed and mix till well incorporated. This takes a few minutes. So, try try again! Success! These bars look wonderful and taste even better.
To see how other bakers did and for the recipe go to Baked Sunday Mornings.


These were just so yummy...wish I could share them!




Grasshopper Bars
Makes 24 brownies, adapted from Baked Explorations

For the Brownie Base:
3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
5 oz good quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325.

2. Grease the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9x13 inch pan.  Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper and butter the parchment.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.

3. Configure a large-ish double boiler.  Place the chocolate and the butter in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined.  Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add both sugars.  Whisk the sugars until completely combined.  Remove the bowl from the pan.  Wait until the mixture is at room temperature (i.e. you can stick a finger in it for ten seconds without writhing in pain).

4. Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined.  Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter or your brownies will be cakey.

5. Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate.  Using a spatula (do NOT use a whisk) fold the dry ingredients into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula, and bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. The brownies should be just a tad underdone (about 1 minute from being cooked completely).  A toothpick inserted in the brownies at an angle should yield a few loose crumbs.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan while you make the creme de menthe filling.

For the Buttercream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk (I used low fat)
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 stick butter, softened but still cool, cut into small cubes
3 tbsp creme de menthe (easily purchased at your local liquor store)
1 tsp peppermint extract

1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together.  Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, 5-7 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on high until cool.  Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated. increase the speed to medium-high and beat until filling is light and fluffy.

3. Add the creme de menthe and peppermint extract and mix until combined. If the filling is too soft, chill slightly in the refrigerator and then mix again until it is the proper consistency.  If the filling is too firm, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and re-mix to proper consistency.  Spread the filling evenly across the top of the brownie layer and place the pan in the refrigerator, for a minimum of 45 minutes while you make the chocolate glaze.  **I put mine in the freezer because we had no room in our refrigerator.

For the Chocolate Glaze
6 oz good quality dark chocolate (60-72%) coarsely chopped
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes

1. 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 to release excess heat.

2. Pour the mixture over the chilled creme de menthe layer and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer.  Place the pan back in the refrigerator (or freezer) for 1 hour (or less), until the glaze hardens.

3. Remove the pan from the fridge, wait about 15 minutes for the glaze to soften slightly and cut the bars with a warm knife.  Cut into squares and serve immediately.  For long term storage (up to 4 days), cover with saran wrap/aluminum foil, make room in your fridge, and store it in there.

16 comments:

  1. I'll have to try making them again, Kathy, because I was hoping to get a creamier filling. Yours look beautiful!

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  2. Glad to see you back! Yours look great. We loved them. (We're posting over at the BSM Facebook page until the blog is updated... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baked-Sunday-Mornings/201013669947370)

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  3. Welcome back! Your bars look perfect, especially the layers.

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  4. Your bars look just beautiful, and the brownie layer looks so fudge-filled. I'm glad you stayed with it and made the buttercream layer twice. It definitely looks like it paid off!

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  5. These look gorgeous, Kathy! You're more persistent than me - I couldn't get the buttercream to set, but was too frustrated to try again. I'm going to layer the brownies and ganache into vanilla ice cream. Have a lovely day!

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  6. Very pretty bars! I always seem to have problems with the buttercreams from Baked -- they never turn out to be the right texture at first. My buttercream looked curdled and too runny -- but after I stashed it in the fridge for a while and beat it again, it came together just fine. Yum!

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  7. you're back, and it's the first time i miss since i joined :( your bars look super yummy! thanks for the tips! i'll keep them in mind when i get around to making these :)

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  8. They look yummy! I just love the layers.

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  9. Thanks for the tips on the buttercream. Maybe I didn't wait for mine to thicken long enough. Even with runny filling, I enjoyed these.

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  10. Oh, I'm sorry you had to make the buttercream twice...what a pain! But your bars look great...in fact, we styled ours just the same :)

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  11. I loved how sleek looking these were too. My mom used to make a version of these too, and I liked these much better :) Welcome back!

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  12. Yours are perfect looking, crisp and delicious looking.

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  13. Kathy-That is one gorgeous chocolate mint bars. I noticed Lizzy made it as, well. Have not commented on hers yet. What a nice group of Sunday bakers. I will have to check it out!

    I am working on my list for the 7 Links game, and invite you to join in on the fun. You'll get to post your past posts, and link it!
    Have a wonderful Monday!
    xoxo

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  14. We used to make these for showers (and holidays) when I was a girl, with the only difference being the top layer was just melted chocolate giving it a nice hard top layer. The effort put into it is worth it for sure.
    Karen

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  15. I can only imagine how delicious these have to be! Your squares are perfect - I wish that I could cut my brownies to look like that! I guess keeping them in the fridge or freezer like you did really works:)
    I will not be making a lot of sweets as my girls are leaving, while I have to stay in Serbia for a while to take care of my mom, but once I am back in the US, I might give them a try.

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  16. I made these, 100 2" squares, for my adult Sunday School class...and several want the recipe. Thanks for typing it up...I will direct them to your site where your Grasshopper Bars look perfect.

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