My grandmother was a pretty fly lady, though I am not sure anyone called her “fly” in her lifetime. She loved anything glamorous and I’m pretty sure she saw the point of doing a whole lot in moderation. She’d send my sister and I (beware, frightening New Jersey-in-the-80s references ahead) glittery and puff-painted jaw clips and manes from the flea markets in Florida, she never discouraged the splattered and acid-washed jeans and neon slouch socks I wish someone would have formed an intervention over (shudder) and I specifically remember her finding me a pair of silver moccasins that in my mind couldn’t have been any cooler.
So, it should come as no surprise that when she made brownies, she didn’t just make any old brownies. Instead, they were three layer affairs; one chocolate, one mint and then a chocolate topping and she didn’t just stop there. Nope, Grandma took an Andes Candy, divided it in half on the diagonal, and sank it like a shark fin into that chocolate and her “creme de menthe brownies” were possibly the most glamorous thing I had ever seen and my favorite brownie to eat.
I unearthed the recipe a few years ago — a thin brownie not heavy on the chocolate (which came from a can of Hersheys syrup!), a quick butter/powdered sugar buttercream flavored with creme de menthe and a melted chocolate chip topping — and I am so ashamed to say this, but they just didn’t live up to the memory I had of them. I knew I could make tweak the recipe to make them better somehow, but it just seemed wrong.
But these… they’re richer. The chocolate flavor is more intense. They’re a bit neater and more compact and I would never call them “better”, I’ll just say that this is the way I had always remembered the others tasting. I don’t think she’d complain one bit if I handed her one of these instead of her version; she’d enjoy them thoroughly. And then she’d tell me to stand up straight, and perhaps wear some colors once in a while.
Lady, you’re killing us with the sweets: I know, I know. We’ve been desserts overboard this month, but I can’t let you all go into the biggest baking weekend of the year without one last totally gorgeous and indulgent confection. A fantastic dinner party dish is coming next (I mean, I hope it is as delicious as the last time I made it!) and then some moderation. Perhaps in the new year. How else will we find cause for resolutions?
One year ago: Austrian Raspberry Shortbread Surely, you still have time to make these, yes? I hope you do.
Two years ago: Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Tart
Grasshopper Squares [aka Creme de Menthe Brownies]
Adapted from Gourmet, December 2005
I have one gripe with these squares: The ganaches are too soft. I honestly don’t know why they require so much cream as they never really firm up, even in the freezer. It makes for a delicious bite but not a whole lot of stackability or transportability. What I would do next time is try to make the ganaches with half the cream and see if they firm up better — they should. If you feel comfortable doing so (you’ll want to chocolate with the cream, rather than pour it over) I have a feeling it will be a nicer consistency. But even if you use the full amounts, you won’t be disappointed in the taste.
Final note: With white chocolate, the quality is especially important. The original recipe’s comments on Epicurious are filled with complaint from people who used Ghirdelli and other white “chocolates” (filled with artificial ingredients) which split easily once heated and never came back together. This has happened to me before when I used Ghiradelli. Although pricier, both Valrhona and Callebaut make exceptional white chocolates; I used the latter.
Makes anywhere from 72 normal-sized brownies to 117 one-inch squares (I think the perfect size)
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 (see recipe notes)
10 oz fine-quality white chocolate, chopped (see recipe notes)
2 tablespoons green crème de menthe (I skipped this and found the mint flavor strong enough; compensated for the tinting with a single drop of green color)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
For chocolate ganache
1 cup heavy cream (see recipe notes)
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.
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.
144 comments on grasshopper brownies
mmm mmmm MMMMM!!!
I have an original recipe of this brownie in a cookbook from the little neighborhood school my kids attended. Yes..Hershey’s syrup and all. I was not impressed then and since the advent of the artisian chocolates, I would be less so, now. Your recipe looks much better. Thanks, Deb.
PS..I made the Rainbow or seven layer bars and your parmesan biscotti over the last two days…Excellent, both!
They sounds sort of like Nanaimo bars. I think those are a Canadian thing, though.
I made the apple pancakes with the addition of vanilla and cinnamon (perhaps half a teaspoon of each and they were so delicious. Like apple fritters without all the grease.
Oh my…I had these once years ago and was never able to find the recipe! Can’t wait to make them, thanks!!!
Actually, this is what I like most about coming to your site, the sweets. It’s a feast for my eyes. Really it is.
you are evil1 Evil I say! I also used to make these before i went gluten free. I stopped making them b/c I was not sure of creme de menthe was ok for me to have but I never thought to just leave it out!
These look incredible but I loathe the combination of chocolate and mint with a passion. May therefore substitute almond essence for the peppermint.
There can never be too many sweets! And I love mint and chocolate – almost as good as chocolate and peanut butter. mmmm
I’ve had surprising good luck with Trader Joe’s white chocolate chips — they’re just cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, nothing fake.
I had great luck too! W/Trader Joe’s white chocolate chips. Bonus they’re a great price point👌.
I just made Nanaimo Bars with my daughters for a party tomorrow. I’ll have to try these out the next time we’re asked to bring a dessert.
Oh god, PUFF PAINT! Ahh, memories…
That said, I want those brownies pretty bad… I can almost taste them!
I am hysterical, remembering my Jersey Girl hairclips and I too had silver mocassins. oneontonka (whatever) they were!
deb. you’re reading my mind. i literally sent this link and the seven layer cookies link to my mom last week saying “what do you think of these for christmas?” get out my head!!!!
I make a similar recipe every year for my Sister’s Birthday. I use the Cooks Illustrated brownie, a buttercream with creme de menthe, and a chocolate glaze with butter, chocolate, and a bit of water. Probably not as rich and creamy as yours, but they set up firm, but not hard.
These look really, really good, but I kind of wish you had included the stylish Andes Candies shark fins on top . . .
Sounds wonderful — but your Grandmother! Now she sounds like someone we should all strive to be like! Lucky you!!
“Lady, you’re killing us with the sweets.”
You said it.
They remind me a bit of my grandmother’s Nanaimo bars.
Stop it with the delicious desserts that I HAVE to make, seriously.
You read my mind, I was going to bake brownies for a party tomorrow, and damn it, now I will probably make these instead. And I just made your seven-layer cookies (gluten free- http://www.heythattastesgood.com/2008/12/seven-layer-cookies.html) on top of the 15 different kinds of cookies I have been making to give people for Christmas, this is the last thing I need!!!!
Hm, interesting. I tried Cook Illustrated’s mint brownies recently, and I didn’t love them. One of the problems, though, was that I accidentally bought mint extract and not peppermint extract. It tastes like spearmint. But also, the mint layer was too powdered sugary. I wonder if using white chocolate instead would solve that. It’s a good idea.
they seriously sell those brownies at starbucks and theyre so good but when i looked up minty brownies they’d just be regular brownies with mint extract. mmm i want to try these soon!!!
I love these already.
But, I want to ask you make something when you have the time. Scallion Pancakes. They are one of my favorite Chinese food appetizers and sometime in the future I plan to make them. But, if you make them first and blog about it, I might get it right the first time when I make them! Please forgive my laziness! I moved to Florida a year and a half ago and can’t find one place that makes these. I am in need of a fix, but with a very active baby, too tired to do this myself yet.
Oh so pretty. I’m full up for xmas on sweets (thank you very much – yeah, I was one of the ones moaning about all the sweets, but, ya know, it was all just for drama. “Oh, another delicious recipe I have to try, poor pitiful me [swoon to floor, raising a knot on the forehead because each hand had a fresh cookie in it and couldn’t be bothered to break the fall] ….”)
Now I’m torn – someone mentioned almond essence instead of the mint … which to make? … maybe split the the filling and do both. These little babies will look so pretty on a New Year’s Eve silver tray. Oh … in the recipe, there’s a “note” about the heavy cream, but I don’t see the note. Or was it the part about halving the cream? I’m probably being an idiot [swoon knots cause such things, I’m sure] – if it’s there, just ignore me. I’ll eventually find it and go, um, duhhhh.
wow. will have to indulge one day soon… thanks for sharing!
SoupAddict..you are hilarious! Deb, I am eternally grateful. I am baking for santa this weekend with my kids. We’ll have so much fun!
Your photos are mouthwatering. Mint + chocolate = the ultimate decadence. I say keep the desserts coming, you only live once!
These look like chocolate mint perfection!
Deb – I think this officially makes you the Brownie Queen! I’ve never seen so many mouth watering brownie recipes in one place before. I’m stuck deciding which one to try first, and think it may be the death of me if I tried them all at once!
i think i’m going to bake these tomorrow!
thanks a bunch! my mouth is watering as my eyes just gazes through the photos.
I love this beautiful tribute to your Grandmother and as always love your photography. Have a festive weekend!
They look rich and so good.
Those look amazing! I love how cooking merges generations. My grandmother also has passed down a three layer brownie recipe to my mother and my mother to me. I just posted this recipe last week. This will be a great variation to her recipe. Thanks for posting! I love reading your blog and always enjoy your recipes, photos, and stories. :)
I squealed with delight when I saw this posted. This is quite possibly my very favorite things all rolled into one. Must make…!!!!
I’ve recently discovered that in order to recapture the experience of eating delicious treats of my childhood, I’ve had to make the updated slightly more gourmet version. It’s funny how eating a devil dog cake w/ swiss meringue filling *now* can have the same taste memory as eating a devil dog in my childhood.
Oh Deb, you are a lifesaver. I’m stressing out over what desserts to serve at my wedding reception, and you’ve just dropped the perfect thing into my lap. I’ll have to try them immediately!
Oops, double post… Since you said this ganache was too soft, do you think the chocolate ganache from the Peanut Butter brownies would work? I’ve had ridiculously good luck with that one.
I am *loving* the amount of dessert posts! It should always be like this!
Hooray for an upcoming dinner party recipe! I was thinking of petitioning you for just such a post, but I figured “what are the chances?”
Definately a more refined, and flavoured version of the Nanaimo Bar….they look great! I am Canadian…I know Nanaimor Bars, lol.
Oh I am so ready for these. I will swap the mint with almond flavoring. My food budget has finally recovered from the chocolate mail order purchase. I have these large gold bags of whte and dark chocolate (identical to your chips!) that make adorable noises every time I go in the kitchen. Who knew?
yummy these are awesome. wish to make some of these :)
I have to make these this weekend. Just one small clarification Deb?? In the paragraph where you griped about the ganache consistency, was the word “melt” supposed to be in the parentheses with the phrase “you’ll want to chocolate with the cream, rather than pour it over” and does that mean both the white and bittersweet?
KEEP BRINGING ON THE SWEETS, DEB!!! :-)
Deb, is it possible that my Southern gal brain and your New Yorker gal brain have somehow melded? I pulled these off the epicurious site Thursday night and made them for a little get together we hosted last night.
They were a huge hit. Very rich. I’m with you on cutting them into 1 inch squares. It’s just the right amount of richness without being overwhelming. Plus, you can justify taking several tiny squares more easily than one huge one!
I used the Ghiradeli white chocolate and had no problem with it. I picked it up because it was the one available and I didn’t have time to hunt up another brand. I would prefer Valrhona.
I agree with your assessment of the ganache. Needs to be less soft.
I also think that after they are chilled and set you should cut them into squares and then let them return to room temperature before serving in order to get the most out of the flavors.
Ha! Your post makes me want to dig out my Fame t-shirt and Xanadu album.
The brownies look wonderful, did you save me one?
Where in nyc does one buy these better quality white chocolates???
Back in the day I was so cool even my dressers were splatter painted! These brownies look so good and I’m very interested in sticking an Andes mint in. As a kid I always knew which restaurants in town gave you Andes mints so now when I eat them it’s like a flashback to childhood.
Oh my!! Save me a piece – these sound dreamy!
You’re a master of the layering.
Leighann — Yes. When you have a larger amount of cream, just heating it to a simmer and pouring it over the chocolate is enough to melt the chocolate. Should you halve it, the heated cream will likely no longer be enough to alone melt the chocolate bits. Instead, you can melt the two together over a double boiler, or, if you feel comfortable doing so, in the microwave. (My technique: Stop microwave every 30 seconds to stir; remove it when it is not completely melted and stir until it is using the residual heat in the bowl.)
Amy — A zillion places. Any Whole Foods or nicer grocery store. I grabbed them at the baking supply place on 22nd, because I was there anyway–they sell Callebaut, Valrhona, Scharffen-Berger, as well as good mint extract (Neilsen-Massey) and more.
Why did you omit the Andes?? Would have been a nice homage to your Grandmother.
OMG — there’s a woman who always brings these to my gang’s annual New Year’s Eve party. She’s a fabulous baker who guards her recipes like Fort Knox, but NOW (bwahaha) the hegemony is broken! Thanks, Deb, can’t wait to try them.
I love how food so accurately attaches itself to our memories. And I also love how foods from our childhood don’t always taste as good as we remember. Case in point? Those peanut butter cookies with the Hershey’s kiss in the middle. Those puppies are tough to eat! But thinking of them makes me think of Valentine’s Day in third grade when David Dunnick gave me my first Valentine that I thought was a legit proposal, along with one of those cookies. You can’t beat it.
Kroger (of all places) has store brand real white chocolate chips, which I’ve used to make many white goodies (mmm, key lime fudge). Plus, they’re cheap!
A great story! Why is it that those nostalgic memories of a grandmother’s home baking are so hard to duplicate in the present? My husband has a sweet tooth and associates baking with everything wonderful. But when we recently discovered a parcel of recipes that had been his grandmother’s and his mother’s we were astonished at the number of ‘shortcut’ items that they included–of very much the same calibre as the Hershey’s syrup your Grandmother used. Your ‘tweaked’ recipe looks wonderful. I’m going to try it with less cream as you recommend.
I am fond of your recipes and the photographs. Thanks for sharing.
Is peppermint extract the same as mint extract? I’ve read on other websites that there is a difference but would it really make a difference in the taste of the brownie?
These look so rich and yummy! Forget the cookies for Santa…I say give him these brownies.
Sounds like you grandma would have gotten along well with my mother. She is a lover of the glitter (I always say that she’s a frustrated Supreme.)
These look amazing, and I don’t mind all the sweet recipes one bit! I mean it’s Christmas, you’re supposed to bake incredibly decadent items that people “ooh and ahh” all over.
I share your childhood memory of these delights – my aunt used to make them. I, too, have tried her recipe and found that it never lived up to my memories. I’ll have to give your version a try.
These look fabulous!
These look fabulous. I stumbled across your blog and I love it. . . great recipes and pictures. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for your photo info post. I am in the midst of deciding between the Canon xsi, 40D and 50D. The lens info was really helpful. Did you consider the image stabilizer lens?
I really like the green color of the mint sandwiched inbetween the deep brown of the chocolate. It looks really tasty and makes for a really nice presentation.
Looks heavenly and makes me think of a yummy grasshopper ice cream concoction I recently had at NYC’s Pershing Square restaurant. There’s something so sublime about mint mixed with chocolate!
These look awesome! Did you just stick with the 1 tsp peppermint extract while omitting the creme de menthe? That’s what it sounds like you said. But I read some reviews on epicurious and a few bakers increased the extract to compensate for omitting the creme de menthe. Was there enough mint flavor with just 1 tsp extract? Thanks so much! I plan to bake these for my family this Christmas.
David — Actually, I went up to 1 1/2 teaspoons, but I felt that the mint was too strong in mine. I was bummed because it was hard to taste the chocolate. At the one teaspoon level, the mint flavor was just strong enough.
i used half cream, half half-and-half and didn’t fill the cup/half cup up fully and mine stiffened up really nicely
I used half as much cream, but it wasn’t quite enough. 3/4 the called for cream worked great.
Also, if your white chocolate ganache separates, reheat it and stir more thoroughly as it cools. That will help bring it back together. We did this, adding a bit more cream to make the result less firm, and it came together nicely.
I definitely agree that 1 teaspoon of mint was just right. More would have overwhelmed the chocolate.
My mom made these every Christmas when I was growing up. There is just something about the mint and chocolate that makes me think of the holidays.
I’ve been making these brownies since Gourmet published the recipe in 2005 and they’re great. They’re also a great palate to try your favorite flavors on (besides just mint.) I’ve tried orange, raspberry, coffee and most recently Mexican chocolate: http://elicooks.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/crack-brownies/
i used trader joes brand white chocolate chips to make peppermint bark this weekend and it worked very well. Melted easily, tasted great, and spread easily! It is also extremely affordable. And since “cocoa butter” is an actual ingrediant in the chips, i was hoping for the best, and was not dissapointed.
I made these over the weekend using your suggestion of halving the cream in the ganaches. It worked great! Also, I used ghiradelli white chocolate since I’ve had success with it in the past and it worked fine.
Thanks for the recipe! I love it.
These totally remind me of your delicious dulce de leche cheesecake squares. Maybe you could use the chocolate glaze from that as the top layer here instead of the chocolate ganache? As I recall, it firmed up really nicely.
I just have to ask, what is a “fly lady”?
These look delicious, and I agree with the others who said that they are reminiscent of the Canadian Nanaimo Bar, the mint version anyway. I still think the original custard filling cannot be surpassed.
I also like to see that you use Callebaut chocolate as I’m from the home of Bernard Callebaut and there really is a world of difference between it and store-brand. I suspect the Callebaut you get in the states is from a different chocolaterie but since they both descend from the same name I’m sure it’s just as good.
So glad to see this – I tried the gourmet version, and while good – it was frustrating to not set up. Trying with some different chocolates (don’t have access to the ones you recommend) but hopefully will work out like yours… Also going to make them in the disposable cake pans for easy transport/sharing. Thanks for another great sweet!
Oh. My. God. Those look amazing! You can never post too many desserts – not in my mind anyway. Now I want all the Christmas stuff to be eaten up so I’ll have an excuse to make these!
I made these and they were fantastic! I thought the recipe was slightly funny because the ganache calls for 10 oz of chocolate and chips come in 11.5 oz bags, so I just used a whole bag. For the ganache, since it seemed runny I whipped it and it turned out nice and light, yes it doubled in volume but that made these seem more like candies than brownies, esp since the brownie layer was so thin. (I also omitted the creme de menthe and added a bit extra extract to compensate)
I tried to turn them into Blueberry-Chocolate Squares but had no luck with the ganache… i’ll try passion fruit next time and see… i’m still getting over all the white chocolate that went to the garbage.
Still, i topped the brownies with dark chocolate ganache and fresh blueberries and my family and boyfriend loved them, so thank you for the daily inspiration!!!
I made this over the holidays too and LOVE them! Great site.
If you use raspberry flavoring, would you use the same amount? I want to make these for our Valentine’s Friday work lunch, but wanted something red, so I thought a raspberry flavoring would be better.
I have never worked with raspberry flavoring before. It seems best to put in just a small amount, taste the ganache and make sure it is not overpowering, and add more if needed.
Thanks. That’s kind of what I was figuring. Will let you know how it turns out! Also, think I will try the topping from the dulce de leche squares.
My grandma also told me to stand up straight and to wear colour! She was also always concerned about keeping our kidneys warm and wearing lipstick. She was a darling and I think, from reading this, that she and your grandmother would have gotten along very well.
I made these for my son’s bday party, and they were a big hit. Mmmm! Just thinking about them makes me want to go grab another one. I used about 2/3 the cream for the ganaches and it worked perfectly. They also firmed up alot quicker than the recipe notes. I used 1/2 tsp. creme de mente and 1/2 tsp. peppermint turned out good. I definitely wouldn’t want anymore mint though as it was pretty strong as it is.
Thanks for another great recipe! (making the carbomb cupcakes for Saturday :)
I made two rounds of these – one test round and one for a baby shower. For the second batch I increased the mint just with a little over pour because I prefer a stronger mint favor. It was great! Thanks so much for this recipe – it was a hit!
I made these for a party and they turned out beautifully! I decreased the amount of cream in the ganaches and they set up nicely – no problems. These got rave reviews and were delicious. This recipe is a keeper!
I made these for my girlfriend and she loved them… one problem, she’s working on eating healthy, and these don’t fit the healthy bill… Anyone have a similar recipe/desert idea that would be healthier? I’ve made her home made granola bars (spent grain from beer brewing + honey + nuts/raisins/whatever), but one can only do so many varieties of granola bars before everyone goes batty.
Oh dear. I’ve been sitting in the currently temperamental Sydney weather for days, and craving nothing but mint and chocolate combos. I sooo want to make these but…I refuse. I’ll need to save these for a party or something, I can’t trust myself with a batch of these at home.
Oh. My. God.
I made these tonight for the first time for my ballroom dance team’s practice. I had 48 brownies…two hours and 11 people later, there are four left.
They are AMAZING. One person tried them, and all of a sudden I had a horde of people crowding the brownie pan. I’ve been given offical title of “team mom”. Oh, and the ganache set wonderfully with half the amount of cream. I’ll be saving these for road trips to our competitions.
This and the cream scones were the first things I’ve tried off your website, and both came out beautifully. I’ll definitely be trying more :-)
Ok Deb…. I obviously need a tutorial on chocolate!! I come from the world of almond bark and choc. chips. I obviously can’t find the right types of chocolate for baking at my local grocery store… So do have suggestions as to where to find good chocolate for baking. I am close to the Twin Cities. Do specialty grocery stores like Kowalskis have these products? I also have a Trader Joes nearby. I need some HELP!! Please all comments are welcome.
Incredible! I only used 3/4 the amount of cream and the ganache turned out perfect… except the top layer started to seize while I was spreading it. I had to bust out the hairdryer (don’t judge me). So, I guess “perfect” is the wrong word. It was my first time making ganache and I was very pleased with myself. Everyone LOVED these brownies. They definitely need to be cut into small pieces.
Meridith — Trader Joe’s chocolate bars are very good quality (rumor has it that they are made by Callebaut). You can pick them up near the registers.
Can I send by wrapping each large square with parchment and plastic? Sending all my Christmas goodies from your posts. Everyone loves your homemade oreos. When is your book (or compilation) coming out? Because I will sleep in front of the bookstore to be the first to buy!
Hands down, you had me at the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. Then the Toasted Coconut Shortbreads rocked my world. And so one after another I fell hard time and time again. Why would these be any different? I made them today and they turned out great. The 1″ size is perfect I think. The texture is a bit homogenous so small bites of chocolate minty goodness are just right. Quite a few years ago a recipe for grasshoppers was going around that used Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix in the base — pretty weird, huh? Anyway, I used Green & Black’s white chocolate (my absolute favorite — I have dreams about it) and then their dark chocolate. The dark ganache broke so I had to make it over using Trader Joe’s dark which did the trick (and was alot less expensive). For me, the trick to making a smooth ganache is chopping the chocolate very fine so that it melts quickly in the cream. Oh, and I did cut the cream down to 1/4 cup for the white ganache and 1/2 cup for the dark and it worked out just fine. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
These sound absolutely divine… I’ve recently started becoming a real fan of mint and chocolate together. I must make these after I “dispose” of all the baked goods stashed in my freezer! =)
Didn’t check all of the comments so I may have missed it, but do you think using Half and Half would cause a big difference? I have a ton left over and would like to use it before it goes bad. Or could I possibly add something to correct the thickness? Or find a new recipe? I know you stick to a ‘I don’t know what I haven’t tried’ policy, but I’m interested in your opinion.
my mom made these when I was growing up, and I’ve been making them for the last 35 years or so… perfect, every time. The top layer recipies are completely different, though. for the mint layer: 6 Tbsp melted butter / blend with 3 cups powdered sugar (this will make a very thick paste) / add 3 Tbsp cream, 1/2 tsp peppermint extract, few drops of green food coloring. spread over brownies while they are still warm. for the top chocolate layer: melt together 1.5 oz UNsweetened chocolate and 1.5 Tbsp butter. when mint layer is firm, pour over the top and spread gently – sometimes I double this, to ensure a thick enough coating.
you’d think that the unsweetened chocolate would be too much, but with the sweet of the mint layer it works out just fine and adds an intense chocolate flavor. also: these slice up nicely, with clearly defined layers and no smudging!
Deb, you’re a goddess
I was expecting REAL grasshoppers, and I’m now undecided if I’m relieved or disappointed! All joking aside, it’s a great recipe just like most of your amazing food. Can’t wait until the cookbook!
Will these taste awful with mint extract instead of peppermint? because that is all i have
I bought peppermint extract, and I wasn’t sure if I have to buy mint extract as well. I just don’t want to buy something I don’t have to and may not use again.
I LOVE your website.
Use whichever you’ve got! Chocolate isn’t picky. :)
I had a very happy “Smitten Kitchen” birthday this year when my husband surprised me by making these as my birthday cake. They turned out delicious thanks to your detailed recipe (he’s not usually the baker of the family). Thanks!
I used Callebaut white chocolate, but I still had terrible separation. The ganache was a gloppy ball of greenish chocolate in a vat of oil. As per the suggestion by Michael L, i reheated it, added a touch more cream, and stirred the c**p out of it. That seems to have solved the problem. Yum!
Definitely considering replacing the mint with hazelnut syrup next time.
my dream come true!!!
FLDISJKCDKLSHJ you’re amazinG!!
I made these brownies the other day at work and even though I thought the required amount of flour was less than it should have been, I followed your recipe exactly. The brownies tasted delicious, but it was the consisitency of “brownie batter” you’d find in ice cream. I was just wondering if 3/4 cup of flour was a possible typo?
Also, the amount of batter I made from your recipe was only enough for a 10″x 6″x 4″ pan (1/2 a 4″ hotel pan) and the yield you gave read 72 normal brownies and 117 1″ brownies; I got 12 brownies. I’m not complaining by any means, just making sure if I read the recipe right or not.
just to let you know – I made these using half the cream stated for the ganaches and the consistency was perfect in both. The brownies are absolutely delicious and they look great. Also, I made them in a 9″ square pan and divided the recipe by two-thirds which works perfectly. 1″ brownies are great, as they’re quite rich. Just heading to the kitchen now to make another batch for my friend’s birthday, no doubt they’ll be much appreciated! Thanks for the recipe, I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it!
Hi Deb! You say you skipped the creme de menthe because you found the mint flavor srong enough. Did you use some other sort of mint flavor AND peppermint or just the peppermint (so only1 tsp of some sort of flavoring when in the mint layer)? thanks!
I’ve made this recipe before and it was a completely SMASH! Everyone loved it. I’m planning to make them again for a party and I was wondering what your advice was for how far in advance I could make them? Would appreciate your advice!
Hi! Just wanted to tell you that I made this cake for a birthday party and everybody loved it. Thanks! :)
I made these for a special occasion, and for coloring used a small handful of spinach (plus some fresh spearmint leaves) blended into the white chocolate ganache with a high speed blender. Great green color, and impossible to taste. My guests LOVED them, thanks!
Hi Deb, since my husband will be working overnight at the hospital tomorrow, I thought I’d make something wonderful for him to bring along & share with his fellow residents, attending docs, and nurses. He’s convinced that his mom’s mint brownies are the end-all of brownie-dom. Well… no more :) Another unqualified success! These are ridiculously good… thanks for yet another awesome treat to make people smile. I used 6 oz Baker’s & 4oz Lindt white chocolate (all I had on hand) with 1/4 cup heavy cream for the mint layer, and Trader Joe’s pound-plus dark chocolate (in the red wrapper) with 1/2 cup heavy cream for the chocolate ganache layer. Both solidified really nicely.
This is following on the heels of hosting cooking club tonight and feeding them your fig/olive oil swirl challah and what has to be one of the most delicious & easy salmon recipes ever (cooking light’s slow-roasted brown-sugar cured salmon). The challah was inhaled before anything else was touched. Thanks (as always)!
These were delicious, & a big hit with all ages at tonight’s dinner party. I used a different chewy brownie made w/unsweetened chocolate (I had only 1 bag of semisweet on hand), and since it’s holiday time, I added peppermint bark chips into the batter and a piece of Ghirardelli peppermint bark square set in shark-fin style on top (and no green in the ganache). Looked as good as they tasted. Just a few comments:
1) I used 1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract for the peppermint ganache, rather than the recommended 1 tsp. (No creme de menthe, since I was doing a peppermint bark theme.)
2) As recommended, I cut the cream down in the ganaches to help them set up. Used 1/3 c. cream for the white ganache, which set up very firm, & about 5 oz. cream for the dark chocolate ganache. Worked well.
3) THE GANACHE RECIPES ARE WAY TOO SMALL FOR THE RECOMMENDED 9″x13″ PAN! (Is this due to decreased cream volume?) Doesn’t even cover a thin layer, brownie shows through in spots. Found out the hard way. The ganache recipes do cover 9×9 pan just right, about 1/4″ thick for each ganache. If you have 9×13 pan, I highly recommend you increase the ganache recipes by another 50%.
Been wanting to try this recipe for a while, and finally did this week. They were a great success. A few notes, for those who brave the 100+ comments:
1. Regarding Gemma’s concern about batter consistency (#106), I had very thick batter as well, but I think it’s supposed to be like that (you can see it in one of the pictures within the recipe). It was also a bit grainy – I guess sugar here is not as fine as the one in the US, maybe? – but that disappeared during baking, and the resulting brownie is very good, although perhaps next time I’ll just try using my go-to brownie recipe (it’s very similar, just a few differences in the measurements of the ingredients used, and I made it so many times I know it by heart).
2. Speaking of sugar, I also didn’t have light brown sugar so used a combination of regular brown and granulated white, about half and half; turned out fine.
3. Like others reported, I also halved the amount of cream, with good results – although the white chocolate ganache required a few more glugs of cream to reach a consistency that felt right.
4. Regarding the comment just above mine, about the ganache not being enough – I suspect the amount of cream does have something to do with it, since it felt like I have significantly more dark choc ganache than mint, even though I used a little bit under the recipe’s 10oz of chocolate. However, it might also be a matter of perception: the dark brownie layer shows up better under the light-coloured ganache, and it also tends to be uneven (because the batter is so thick) so some bits will be a little higher than others. So it emphasises the places where it’s a little thinner. Anyway, in general, while the mint layer was a little thinner than the choc layer, I felt like I had just the right balance between the flavours.
5. Wasn’t going to use any food colouring because I don’t have any, but another comment above (Justicia, #111) gave me an interesting idea… since I already made the brownies a day ahead, I decided to make a tinting experiment: I poured the mint extract into a little dish, and left a few crushed mint leaves to soak in it overnight. The extract turned a very bright green colour, but of course it’s not as concentrated as food colouring, so did not tint the chocolate as well (I suspect part of the problem is that I had some Valrhona white chocolate in the mixture, and it has a light brown colour which kinda took over; perhaps in something like whipped cream, or [blech] buttercream, the colour will show better). It was a lot of fun, anyway. Science!!
I guess that’s long enough. Hope it can actually help someone somewhere down the line, and is not just me talking to myself. :)
Yael — Thank you! Extra tips are always welcome.
What is the advantage of the white chocolate ganache over a good mint buttercream? I ask because the mint brownies in my memory were most definitely a rich buttercream– the best part of the brownie.
C — I loved the white chocolate here because I felt it had a richer flavor from the cocoa butter, and I liked the firmer texture. My grandmother’s recipe as well had a mint buttercream and it was of course delicious but it was always soft.
Delicious! Just made these for a bonfire and dinner party. Got rave reviews–one little boy brought a half-eaten piece over to his mom and said, “Mom, you’ve GOT to try this”!! Thanks for great recipes with great results!
I made these for a birthday and they were incredible! They were so rich that even I, a chocoholic brownie-loving fanatic, could only eat one small square piece. I used the Whole Foods 365 brand white chocolate because it was the only white chocolate I could find, and the ganache came out just fine. I tried halving the cream, but like Yael said, I ended up adding more cream to the white chocolate because I had issues getting the ganache to come together. I also would have liked more of the white chocolate mint layer and less of the chocolate ganache layer. I used one and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract and omitted the creme de menthe. Tasted like an absurdly decadent peppermint patty!
These are divine. So much better than the one with the boiled buttercream layer and melted chocolate and corn syrup topping. Silky. Decadent. Because I didn’t want to reduce the amount of layers (by cutting back on cream so that they would set up better)… I simply upped the amount of chocolate. Fourteen ounces of white chocolate and twelve of bittersweet worked beautifully. Another tip– if your ganache breaks– which can happen if you use an especially rich heavy cream from a local dairy for instance- you can add a teaspoon of warm water and whisk. It will smooth right out. Thanks for the great recipe.
How can one, 9×13 pan create 117 brownies??
Um, in case this isn’t a joke, if you cut them in 1″ squares, you get 117. What is 9 multiplied by 13?
Believe it or not, Nestle toll house white choco chips worked awesome. I had the problem with Ghiredelli seizing up on me before and there was no other option for me other then Nestle. WOrked like a charm.
I’m going to try this recipe out this weekend but had a question about cocoa powder. Some people had problems with Ghirardelli’s chocolate, but could I use their sweet ground chocolate and cocoa powder? I ask because I just spent $8 on Dutch process cocoa (a whopping 8 oz. – sarcasm) and my wallet is crying, especially when I had the Dutch process cocoa and ground chocolate powder at home.
The ingredients in the Ghirardelli mix are sugar, Dutch process cocoa, unsweetened chocolate, soy lecithin and vanilla. What do you think, can this be a substitute? (I normally use this mix for topping tiramisu.)
Michelle — Oh, I think you’ll be fine. I’ve just been burned by their “white chips” before, which were sadly not white chocolate, just very gross and did not melt right.
I love your blog! I had to laugh as I had the exact same experience — my mum used to make these for showers and other elegant lady events when I was young. I had remade them as an adult and thought they were awful! So disappointing. Thanks for the redo!
I made these a wile ago, and they were the best brownies I have ever had!! They were also hard to make, and it took a lot of convincing for my mom to buy me all the supplies, but it was totally worth it!!
I believe there’s a verb missing from “you’ll want to chocolate with the cream”
Thank you so much for this recipe Deb! My grandma made something very much like this when I was little and I never knew what they were called to track down the recipe. I knew they weren’t Nanaimo Bars (Canadian here) but I had no one to ask what they were. You have made my day.
Hi Deb! So looking forward to giving these a shot this season! I’m wondering how freezable they are? Best to do just at the brownie stage? When complete? Not at all? Thanks for your help!
For the record, I froze the entire 13×9 dessert prior to cutting. I thought it was easier to cut with a sharp long knife when it was cold. I had no issues with the freezing. I would say you could make it, then remove the whole sheet on the foil and put in a large ziplock and freeze for quite a while!
Made these and they were amazing! Both my ganaches split, but I rescued the chocolate by adding spoonfuls of warm milk. The white chocolate one, I froze after spreading it in and you couldn’t tell since it was under the chocolate. It was a lot of work and dishes, but certainly a unique treat and if you cut them in 1″ squares, you get a LOT!
My chocolate ganache was a bit thick for my liking….
Oh and I used essential peppermint oil, with which you only need about half of what’s in the recipe!
Can anyone say—does this really make 117 1” brownies??? Based on the ingredients, it seems like this is a typo, but i wanted to ask before I accidentally make an army’s worth of brownies as a gift for one person!
I cut them very tiny, so the estimate is based on the max you can get from a 9×13 pan. Realistically, you’ll get a little less because pans are a little smaller at the bottom.
So. I’ve been crap at ganaches for as long as I can remember, and both of mine split without fail this time, too–even though I was using guittard chocolates.
The white chocolate ganache was the hottest mess. It looked like a wad of mint-green playdoh swimming in oil. I may have killed it by adding 2 tsp of peppermint extract instead of 1, but I really felt the mint ganache needed more minty-ness to stand up to the heavy chocolate flavors. For comparison, I tasted a Thin Mint cookie I had on hand, and they’re quite minty!
I ended up skipping the mint ganache, putting the chocolate ganache on the brownies as it was (I was too scared to add the extract to that, lest I destroy it, too) and crumbling up some Thin Mint cookies on top to at least try to impart some minty flavor? The finished brownies were actually pretty minty if you got a bite with a big chunk of cookie on it, which again speaks to the importance of getting a heavy mint flavor in the ganache. If I were to make this recipe again, I might put the mint extract straight into the brownies, or try steeping mint leaves in the cream–anything to avoid messing with the ganache.
The brownie/chocolate ganache combo was fine. What’s not to like about brownies slathered in chocolate? It needed oomph, though, and I’m sad my mint ganache utterly tanked.
I’m baffled by ganaches. It seems like some people just throw them together, yet other online resources advise me to use a candy thermometer, stir them not at all, and otherwise baby them like hothouse roses. I’m an otherwise serviceable home baker, so I have no idea what I’m doing wrong.
I have just made this and it’s cooling in the fridge. All the steps worked out for me.
I needed this brownie to travel well, so I took Deb’s advice and halved the amount of cream in both ganaches. Both ganaches have firmed up nicely.
I didn’t have any trouble with the mint ganache splitting, but the reason for that is that I used a white cooking chocolate. Purists may gasp, and technically it’s not even white chocolate as it doesn’t have cocoa butter, but it melted well, and mixed easily. For next time, I’d up the peppermint essence by half a teaspoon.
Hey Deb and SK community, have you made these recently with half the cream in the ganaches? How did they firm up?
Hey Steph – I’ve been making this recipe for 6 years now. Turns out perfectly each holiday season. Instead of reducing the cream for the ganaches (which reduces the amount of ganache overall ) …I up the amount of chocolate and keep the original amount of cream. 14 ounces of white chocolate and 12 ounces of bittersweet works great to firm them and still result in a wonderfully thick layer as intended. :)
Great tip, Thank you! Happy holidays 😊
I have been looking at this recipe for years, FOR YEARS! I finally made them!!! They are amazing!!!! Thank you so much Deb for all your dedication and hard work. I went to the store to brave the baking isle on Christmas Eve, Eve and they only had Ghirdelli white chocolate, they must have gotten the word, because I didn’t have any trouble with breaking! I also used half the amount of cream which worked beautifully. These are amazing!!!!!!! I am also really proud of myself as this recipient seemed above my skill set but they are SOOOO amazing and came out great!!!!!! Happy holidays and Happy New year!!!! *Ting*
Had to make do because baking supplies were limited at my local store, but these were so delicious! I substituted coconut oil in the brownies and the oil separated in the batter, but I added a mashed ripe banana and it stuck everything back together. No white chocolate or peppermint extract so I spread finely chopped fresh mint over the chilled brownies then topped with the chocolate ganache. Only a smitten kitchen recipe could stand up so brilliantly to these times of forced improvisation.
I’m thinking of adding these to cookie boxes as gifts because I feel my current roundup lacks something sufficiently minty and/or chocolatey. Do these need to be stored in the fridge? If not, about how long would they keep unrefrigerated? Thanks!
I made these and they were delicious! Ghirardelli white chocolate chips worked well. I couldn’t find creme de menthe anywhere so I used peppermint extract.