As we enter the dog days of summer, I have decided to return to the Magnolia Bakery cookbook for this week’s recipe. But, this time there was very little actual baking involved in the end product.
Making the Crust
In fact, this recipe only called for baking the chocolate cookie crust. Originally, I wanted to use the pre-packaged chocolate cookie crumbs that one can find in the grocery store. But, after two unsuccessful shopping trips, I couldn’t find them. Instead I purchased Goya chocolate cookies and used our mini food processor to turn them into crumbs.
The crumbs combined with a melted stick of butter and some brown sugar make for an easy and flavorful crust. Plus it only took ten minutes to bake in the oven. Which was great since even at 9 AM it was getting hot.
Once it was done, I let it cool completely to room temperature before continuing on with the next step: making the filling.
Making the Filling
This filling was easy to make and followed a similar path of some of the other icebox desserts in the book. It begins with cream cheese and powered sugar and then flavorings are added. In this case, I added peppermint extract, a bit of green food coloring, and some miniature chocolate chips.
Then, whipped cream was folded in to give the dessert a light and fluffy texture. It also cuts down on the harshness of the cream cheese. Simply spread out the filling and allow the whole pan to chill for a few hours before slicing. The recipe said it would be ready after two to four hours, but I let my go for more like six and to be honest, I think it could have used even more time.
When it became time to serve, I whipped more cream that was eventually piped onto the top of each slice. I then garnished with more mini chocolate chips. Out of the 9-by-13 inch pan, I was able to cut about twelve equal sized squares. Some of which I cut further to make smaller portions.
Though I was impressed with how the finished product turned out in appearance, especially the little individual squares, I was hesitant to taste it. When I made the Blueberry Jamboree last summer I thought that the cream cheese flavor came through too much. I was expecting the same thing this time. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
The whipped cream helped to hide the flavor of the cream cheese. The strong flavor of the peppermint extract came through enough to mask it as well. Overall, these Grasshopper Bars were a huge hit. The leftover bars held up well for a couple days. In fact, I thought they were even better the second day after making them. This allowed the fats to completely chill once again and gave the flavors a chance to really harmonize. By the end of the second day, however, the bottom crust started to become stale and slightly soggy. Not the end of the world, but it just wasn’t great.
If you are looking for a quick summertime treat recipe, these should be on the top of the list. Also, I could see these easily doubling for a holiday dessert. Especially if you add some red food coloring instead of green.