With a rich brownie base, a minty (and ever-so-slightly boozy) buttercream, and a decadent chocolate glaze, grasshopper brownies are the stuff of dreams.
As of last week, Christmas season has officially found its way to my neighborhood. The lights are up and my neighbor has been cranking Mannheim Steamroller all weekend. The lights are very pretty. The music not so much.
But it was literally 90 degrees here on Thursday. But for the short days, it looks like July outside. And all I can think is NOOOOOOO. I’m so not ready for this.
I have this reaction every single year and long for a day when I calmly face down the month of December. Welcome it even, with baked goods and maybe a cup of coffee. But I have not yet reached that point.
So I think I need a something to ease me into the whole holiday thing. Grasshopper brownies can bridge that gap well, since mint is one of those flavors that isn’t a winter exclusive. It’s a totally acceptable anytime flavor that just happens to fit well into the holiday theme.
And obviously chocolate is a welcome (necessary?) addition to nearly anyone’s day/season/life.
Not to mention how perfect chocolate and mint are together. Chocolate + mint = love. Rich, smooth chocolate combined with the cooling mint flavor makes my heart sing.
And guess what? Grasshopper brownies freeze beautifully so you can keep a stash on hand for last-minute dinner guests. They’re pretty rich so you can cut them a little smaller than you might cut an unfrosted brownie. Or do what I do and cut them huge because what’s life without a giant gob of brownie after dinner?
What you can’t do with them is leave them in your suitcase overnight when your flight is delayed to the point that you miss your connection. . .The frosting will melt and it won’t be pretty. But that’s a whole other story.
I’m taking a tray of these up to my neighbor now in hopes that she’ll turn the music down a few notches. Cross your fingers!
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter cut into large chunks
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons green crème de menthe
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon milk, as necessary for consistency
- green food coloring, if desired for a deeper color
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, allowing a couple of inches of paper to hang over the sides of the pan (this will help you remove the brownies later.) Spray the paper with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour. Set pan aside.
- Combine chocolate chips and butter in a bowl, then microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, stopping every 15 seconds to stir until butter and chocolate are melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugars, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla together. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour and salt until just combined. Take care not to over-mix at this point or your brownies will be tough (and nobody likes a tough brownie). Stir in chopped dark chocolate.
- Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool brownies completely before frosting them.
- Beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Add crème de menthe, vanilla, and salt. Beat on high speed until very fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add milk 1 teaspoon at a time if necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency.
- Spread buttercream evenly over cooled brownies and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for at least 45 before glazing.
- Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Stir until butter and chocolate are melted and smooth. Remove pan from the heat and stir chocolate mixture for 1 minute to cool it down slightly. Pour over chilled brownies and smooth with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until glaze sets, before cutting into bars and serving.