Monday, April 16, 2012
Its already time for the latest installment of Club: Baked. For those of you who don't know, Club: Baked is a small group of bloggers baking our way through the book Baked: Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Polifito. We bake twice a month, on the 1st and 15th (don't tell anyone that today is the 16th). Each week, one of the Club: Baked members is the hostess and picks the recipe that the whole group will make and we all post our results on the same day (or maybe some people post a week late sometimes, maybe). Anyway, it's always fun to see everyone's posts and how they fared with the recipe. This week's recipe for grasshopper bars was selected by Kirsten of The Sweet Swiper.
I had high hopes for this...I'm a big chocolate mint fan. I really enjoyed the Chocolate Mint Thumbprint cookies when the group made them last year. I have no will power when it comes to Girl Scouts Thin Mint cookies and I think mint chip ice cream is the bomb. So I was pretty excited to see this recipe come up on the roster. I stuck to the recipe pretty closely, even resisting my normal temptation to half it. My only changes were to use a teaspoon of peppermint extract in place of the cream de menthe called for (couldn't find it at my local grocery store) plus a few drops of green food coloring to get that pale minty color. I also cut the amount of butter in the chocolate glaze in half (mostly because I was too lazy to get another 1 pound butter packet out to cut some more).
Here's what I liked about the recipe. The frosting is where it's at! It is smooth, silky and minty. It's an unusual (to me) butterceam frosting method that starts with boiling milk, cream, sugar and flour together in a sauce pan and then once thickened, it gets transferred to a stand mixer and you beat on high until all the heat has been released and the mixture is fully cooled. Toss in the butter and beat it until you have a magical fluffy frosting. The Baked boys use this same method in other recipes, like this absolutely delicious caramel buttercream. What I like about this buttercream method is the frosting isn't overly sweet and it's really light and and airy (traditional buttercream is too sweet and heavy to me).
Look how dreamy the frosting is...
I didn't love the brownie base. I'm not sure if I overcooked it...they actually recommend under baking it to give it a fudgy texture. It just didn't have a that deep fudgy flavor I was looking for. Though these didn't turn out perfectly, I would like to give them another go because the frosting is so stinkin good and I'm total sucker for chocolate mint desserts.
To get the recipe head over to Kirsten's blog. To see how other Club: Bakers grasshopper bars turned out, click here.