If you like Andes candies you’ll love these brownies. They capture the flavor of an Andes perfectly, but they’re so much more decadent. They’re great for a holiday party, not only because they’re appropriately seasonal, but also because the recipe makes over 50 brownies so you’ll have plenty to feed a large group.
This recipe isn’t difficult, but there are three components and each of them need time to chill. It’s a good idea to make them a day before you plan on serving them.
Notes: This recipe, like many, calls for fine-quality chocolate. I use Trader Joe’s semisweet chocolate chips ($2.29 for 12 ounces) for all of my baking. I’ve always been satisfied with the result. Occasionally I’ve used higher quality chocolates and I’ve never been able to detect a taste difference so it certainly wasn’t worth the increased cost or the effort to have to chop the chocolate. I’ll also use Ghriadelli chips if I can’t make it to Trader Joe’s. I haven’t had good luck with store brand chocolate chips or Hershey chocolate chips. They had a grainy texture.
For white chocolate I like Ghiradelli chips or Trader Joe’s 45% cocoa butter. I’ve had terrible luck with Nestle white chocolate chips.
For both white chocolate and regular chocolate I always melt it in the microwave in 30 second intervals with stirring in between. It’s so much easier than melting over a double boiler and takes less time. With white chocolate it is really important not to overheat it, because it will melt and separate.
Grasshopper Brownies from Smitten Kitchen
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
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 or 1/2 tsp. peppermint oil
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.