Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Baked Explorations Grasshopper Bars

This cookbook is very fun..listen to this section:

"The impulse to make it came from a cookbook my mom has stashed away, and ancient tome with an emphasis on Midwestern cuisine. Unfortunately, the only thing it seemed to have going for it was page after page of hideous gelatin-infused recipes, each more gruesome than the one before. Still, something about the grasshopper pie was intriguing."

The recipe was fun and beautiful!!!

Tasty too! The recipe can be found on line at Serious Eats.


  • For the brownie base:
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
  • 5 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the buttercream:
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened but still cool, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons creme de menthe
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • For the chocolate glaze:
  • 6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes  


  1. 1
    To make the brownie base: Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. 2
    Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9-by-13-inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter the parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.
  3. 3
    Configure a large size double boiler. Place the chocolate and the butter in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
  4. 4
    Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
  5. 5
    Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate. Using a spatula (do not use a whisk) fold the dry ingredients into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.
  6. 6
    Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula, and bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. The brownies should be just a tad underdone (not too gooey, but ideally, just 1 minute from being cooked through completely). A toothpick inserted into the brownies at an angle should contain a few loose crumbs. Remove the brownies from the oven and let cool completely while you make the creme de menthe filling.
  7. 7
    To make the buttercream: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. 8
    Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until filling is light and fluffy.
  9. 9
    Add the creme de menthe and peppermint extract and mix until combined. If the filling is too soft, chill slightly in the refrigerator and then mix again until it is the proper consistency.
  10. 10
    If the filling is too firm, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and re-mix to proper consistency. Spread the filling evenly across the top of the brownie layer and place the pan in the refrigerator, for a minimum of 45 minutes, while you make the chocolate glaze.
  11. 11
    To make the chocolate glaze: In a large non-reactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir vigorously for 1 minute to release excess heat.
  12. 12
    Pour the mixture over the chilled creme de menthe layer and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer. Place the pan back in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the glaze hardens.
  13. 13
    Remove the pan from the refrigerator, wait about 15 minutes for the glaze to soften slightly, and cut the bars with a warm knife. Cut into squares and serve immediately.
    Note: The bars can be stored in the refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ABC Frangipane Ripple Chocolate Pound Cake

The mystery of the Frangipane. How is it that I could put something near the bottom and have it sink to the top??

I put most of the batter on the bottom (soon to be top).

I then added my almond mixture.

I spread it nicely out and made it flat.

I covered with almost the remaining batter thus creating a large layer of batter between the two white almond layers.

I added the last thin layer of almonds with my fingers because it was easier than using the spatula.

I covered it with a small amount of batter. So that my last layer or bottom layer would be small.

I got this amazing smelling and wonderful looking cake outside!

Inside...couldn't even distinguish the two layers and the layers were not near the bottom but had sunk to the top.

Why is that????

Very Perplexing.


Where's the ripple?

I can't wait to see how the other bakers fair.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Must Purchase The Fearless Baker

I got a cookbook at the Mohave County Library. I had read reviews and it talked about how it was a very beginner cookbook and not for those who know how to bake. I passed by it after reading that on-line. At the library I thought it looked fun. The layout is great and clever. The recipes are doable and fun. I have made the chocolate pudding and the key lime pie. Both were excellent.
How clever to make a crust with these yummy cookies! Really fun ideas. Some day soon I will buy this cookbook, The Fearless Baker.