One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
* Luciano Pavarotti & William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

December 12, 2007

Enter to Win a Cookbook

I am entering a contest that I found out about at The rules of the contest are to post your favorite Christmas cookie recipe. To enter the contest click here. I encourage you all to enter this fun contest....and plus it is always intriguing to know what cookies people love to bake for the holidays!

Chocolate Grasshopper Squares

I am entering a recipe that I have made for the past three years from Gourmet Magazine. It is for Chocolate Grasshopper Squares! These are decadent chocolate mint bars that has a taste that explodes in your mouth!

Here is the recipe (it looks involved, but don't be deterred):


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.

Cooks' notes:• Squares keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, chilled in an airtight container 3 weeks.• We recommend Droste unsweetened cocoa and Lindt bittersweet chocolate for this particular recipe.

P.S. the other cookies that I have made thus far include honey lemon cookies, double chocolate biscotti, pumpkin whoopies pies, black and white cookies, lemon bars, Mexican wedding cookies and Chocolate Mexican cookies. Next year we'll have to have a cookie exchange!


Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, my husband would love these cookies! I have to try them. Thanks for a fun and delicious submission to Eat Christmas Cookies!

Melissa said...

Oh goodness... this looks amazing! I think I'm going to have to try this tonight! Thanks for sharing.

Cakelaw said...

These look great - and chocolate and mint is a terrific taste combination. Also an intriguing name - they don't look remotely like grasshoppers!

kristenita said...

aaron basically begged to eat my share of the grasshoppers from the cookie plate you guys brought us! they were a hit over here - but that recipe looks crazy to me!!

Sarah said...

It really isn't that bad. You just make the three different layers and add them one at a time, after it has been sititng in the refrigerator. This is my third year making I don't even read all the directions...some of the directions make it seem more complicated.

The key is to buy good quality chocolate. I am a chocolate that is why I make these! I am glad Aaron enjoyed the cookies..can't you not wait until finals are finished. I also can't wait until the baby was my original due date, Thursday is the one it was changed to...we're hoping before Christmas...I'll keep praying.

Sarah said...

I realized that part of the recipe was repeated twice...I am going to change that right now..Now it shouldn't look quite as bad!


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