Friday, December 24, 2010

Grasshopper Brownie Bars ~Molly

I made these for Christmas Eve and they are soooo good! The creme de menthe doesn't cook out, like it would with a pie, so these probably aren't a great thing to take to a church potluck, school bake sale, or AA meeting. Mom has now eaten several and is claiming that she wants to "get a little drunk".  Merry Christmas everyone!

*I didn't take this, I stole it from Maybe if Sarah were here helping me, I'd have my own picture.

For brownie layer
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 10 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not extra-bitter or unsweetened and no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For mint ganache
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream**
  • 10 oz fine-quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green crème de menthe
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

For chocolate ganache
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 10 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped

Make brownie layer*:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 13- by 9-inch baking pan and line with 2 crisscrossed sheets of foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil.
Melt butter and chocolate with brown sugar in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until combined. Whisk in flour, cocoa, and salt until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake until set and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs adhering, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

Make mint ganache:
Bring cream to a simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and remove from heat. Pour over white chocolate in a bowl. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Stir in crème de menthe and extract and chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 1 hour.

Make chocolate ganache:
Bring cream to a simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and remove from heat. Pour over bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 30 minutes.

Assemble layers:
Spread mint ganache over top of cooled brownie in a thin even layer using offset spatula, then chill until firm but still slightly sticky, about 30 minutes.
Spread chocolate ganache over mint and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Lift dessert out of pan using foil overhang. Run a heavy knife under hot water and wipe dry, then trim edges of dessert (1/4 inch off each side). Cut dessert into squares and peel from foil.

*If you don't want to make your own brownies, I'm sure the kind out of the box would work just fine. This recipe makes enough batter for a 13x9 pan, though, so for box brownies you will have more ganache than you need.

**I didn't think the mint ganache was minty enough so I used probably closer to a 1/4 cup of creme de menthe. I didn't reduce my heavy cream at all, though so it didn't set up as much as it should have. When I make this again, I'll probably use about 1/3 cup of heavy cream instead.

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