mint chocolate grasshopper squares

Grasshoppers – the little mint cookies I took to the NYC cookie swap yesterday – were definitely a hit. But I’m not going to tell you it’s an easy recipe. It’s a recipe that will make you grumble a little. Well, a lot.

Until you look at a box filled with these goodies – all 60 of them. That’s a lot of cookies. So, the return on all that work is good. Really good. In fact, so delicious, you’ll be glad there are a lot of them so you can save plenty for yourself.

The real secret to this recipe is patience. And time. It takes a full day – with plenty of time off for chilling the layers – but the cookies last for three weeks if kept nice and cold. I store them in a box in the garage (about 35° these days) only because my refrigerator is too full of jars.

First we make a brownie layer. It’s rich, decadent, and very firm. Next, make a white chocolate ganache flavored with Creme de Menthe. (I think I’ve had my bottle for 10 years. It will surely last another 20. This is the only time I take it out.) Finally, a bittersweet ganache tops the whole thing.

Give it a try. Don’t get angry with me when you cut the squares and the darn ganache cracks. Keep cleaning your knife after every cut. Imperfections will be overlooked once you get a taste of this confection. It’s somewhere between cookie and candy – what I call my happy place.

15 thoughts on “mint chocolate grasshopper squares”

  1. Oh my…one of my most favorite and like you, most requested goodies. I love the story cause you know every moment of what it takes. BUT maybe something I learned that could be helpful?

    I keep a glass of very hot water handy when slicing. Dip the knife in the water; wipe off and slice. The warm knife can more easily slice through the chocolate layer without causing the cracking.

    Want some now; bad.

  2. I love how you top it with ganache instead of plain melted chocolate. Too many people make grasshopper brownies with plain melted chocolate that is too hard to properly yield to the underlying mint and brownie layers, which are (or should be) nice and soft. A serious winning recipe.

  3. I made nanaimo bars before and cutting them were always the hardest part because of cracking ganache! Loved your squares – so cute and, of course, tasty! So happy to have met you in person too!! Happy Holidays!

  4. A hot, dry knife is the best for cutting threw a ganache layer. Also the bigger the knife the better heat retention you will have. I use a 10″ chef’s knife to cut most items this size, an 8″ will work too but you will probably have to make two passes on the longer side. Also if your ganache cracks you can take an offset spatula, hot and dry, and kind of repair it. Some times I use a small butane torch to gently heat and patch cracked parts of ganache layer on items I have made.

  5. My mom has been making these for years. She figured out a few years ago that stocking the freezer full makes it easier when all her children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren come home for the holidays because we ALL want Gramma’s “Creme de Menthe bars!”

  6. Hi Cathy! I tried these and they’re so delicious and a big hit with my family, but the white chocolate layer is quite gooshy. I used the only actual white chocolate on offer in the local super market, which was a Ghirardelli white baking bar (everything else was white confectionary coating chips) but am wondering if a better kind might set a little firmer. Could you recommend a brand?

    (And thanks for the hot, dry knife, tips other commenters – it worked *great*!)

    1. Hi Mei Ling,
      I’ve made these cookies for 15 years. Every year, I tell Dennis I’m never making them again. They infuriate me. In 15 years, only a few times has the white chocolate layer set properly. White chocolate is very hard to temper. It has more butterfat than bittersweet. In those successful years, I think I used expensive confectionary coating white chocolate from a baking website. Sometimes Sur La Table has Guittard. I’ve also found random boxes at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
      Happy Holidays,

      1. Thanks, Cathy! I’ll pick up Guittard and might try to split the extract and creme de menthe between the two ganache layers. Will report back next year. 🙂

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