Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grasshopper Bars

These were so wonderful, yummy, rich, delightful, perfectly and not too pepperminty. They are just to die for!!!!

Grasshopper Bars

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 brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9-by-13-inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper or foil, and butter the parchment or foil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.

Configure a large size 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 of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.

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 at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

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.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula, and bake for approximately 15 to 18 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. The brownies should be just a tad underdone (not too gooey, but ideally, just 1 minute from being cooked through completely). A toothpick inserted into the brownies at an angle should contain a few loose crumbs. Remove the brownies from the oven and let cool completely while you make the creme de menthe filling.

For the buttercream:

  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened but still cool, cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

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 mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed 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.

Add the 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.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.

Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.

Refrigerate and store in an airtight container if they last that long. :-)

*ps I apologize for the crazy blogger layout and font, it was not being nice to me tonight.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gone with the Wind Pudding

 Ingredients :    Mixture 1
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 env. Knox Gelatin
  • 1/4 c. cold water
Mixture 2
  • 1 1/2 c. Heavy Cream, whipped
  • 2 Whipped egg whites
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter
   Preparation : 
Combine mixture 1 of milk, sugar, egg yolks. 

In a small bowl add 2 pkgs knox
gelatin to 1/4 cup water and let soak.
Cook mixture 1 over a double boiler for 15 minutes. 

Add gelatin and slowly mix into mixture one and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare mixture 2.  

Prepare crust.  Press just over half into an 8x8 pan. Reserve remainder for topping.  

Whip heavy cream, set aside.  Beat 2 egg whites until stiff.  
Fold eggs and cream together with vanilla and set aside.  
Gently fold in cooled, but not firm mixture 1 to mixture 2.  Once combined pour into pan.  
Sprinkle remaining crust over top of pudding mixture. 

Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.  Cut and serve.  

*This recipe comes from my Grandma Smith.  
My dad really likes it and I thought I would give it a try.  I found it to be more intense 
of a recipe for the quality of food.  It was good, but didn't have a wow factor.  It is more
 of a bland dessert that could use some fresh fruit or something.  However my dad likes
 it, so I may occasionally make it if need be.  :-D