I mentioned last week that Robbie and I made an ad hoc visit to Colorado this last weekend for all of about 24 hours and drove for 18 hours...but who's counting. Nevertheless it was a lovely trip and I have some exciting news for you all that I can't wait to share. But today...it's all about SRC!
This month I was assigned the cutesy blog The Freshmen Cooks. And even though I felt like an old fart, I had a great time browsing through the vast array of savory and sweet recipes, some of my favorites including Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding, Four Cheese-Stuffed Shells, Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms, and S'more Cheesecake.
But amongst these enticing recipes, my eyes fell upon one I just couldn't pass up. So in my meager attempt to usher in the Spring-that-will-never-come, I baked me [and my co-workers] up some Grasshoppers Bars.
At first glance these bars looked rather familiar. And then it hit me. My mama-sita had made these before when I was growing up and I remember having an outright addiction to these bars. But a fudgey brownie, creamy mint buttercream filling, and smooth chocolate topping is hard to pass up.
But this recipe kind-a one-upped my mom's...sorry mom! She can [and will] correct me if I'm wrong, but the version she so kindly made consisted of a boxed brownie and I think the filling/topping must have been a touch different as well. But there ain't nuttin' but homemade lovin' from The Freshman Cook and I truly think you can taste the difference.
The Freshman Cook's brownie is one superb brownie. Extremely chocolate and dense, just how I like 'em! But that filling is what really knocked my socks off. SO creamy and perfectly minty, I don't even know how to begin explaining it. It's just....delish. And when I say creamy, I mean really creamy. As in spilling-over-the-sides-of-the-bar-when-you-cut-into-it-creamy.As I mentioned before, I brought these bars into work and [not surprisingly] received an extremely favorable response. And maybe it was because I hadn't brought in anything in a while, but it seemed like my co-workers really loved these because I'd hear mmmm's and these are good! every once in a while from their desks. It's a sound I sure love to hear!
Thanks again, The Freshman Cooks, for a scrumptious recipe and one that I'll be making again and again! Happy SRC, everyone! .
Adapted from The Freshman Cooks
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
5 oz. quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. butter, cut into cubes
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Mint Buttercream Filling:
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
3/4 c. butter, cut into cubes
2-1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
Green food coloring (optional)
6 oz. quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- Heat oven to 325F. Butter sides and bottom of a 13x9-inch pan-inch pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside.
- For the brownies, in a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in sugar until completely combined. Let cool to room temperature
- Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add vanilla extract and stir until combined (do not overbeat the mixture or your brownies will turn out cakey).
- Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and gently fold the mixtures together until wet but there's a trace of the dry ingredients left.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and evenly spread the batter. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few loose crumbs (the brownies should be slightly underdone; trust me on this). Let cool while making the filling.
- For the buttercream, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and flour. Add heavy whipping 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 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 food coloring (to desired color) 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. Evenly spread the filling over the cooled brownies and place in refrigerator for 45 minutes.
- For the chocolate glaze, in a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate, light corn syrup, and butter, and stir until completely smooth. Pour the mixture over the chilled mint layer and spread in an even layer. Place the pan back in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the glaze hardens. Let bars stand for 15 minutes before cutting.