Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pick a Bug Brownies - Sis 1

One day, while sitting at work at Tamara Pluth Design, about 13 years ago, my boss's mother (I believe her name was Betty Taylor) came in and gave me a brownie. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I had never had or even heard of grasshopper brownies before, but I was instantly in love. I got the recipe as soon as she could get home to copy it down for me. I don't know where she got it from.

Since then, whenever I've made them, almost everyone asks me for the recipe, so here it is, except that the actual brownie recipe is mine. I decided I like it better, but with her mint frosting and chocolate glaze.

Grasshopper Brownies



1 cup magarine or butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Mint Frosting:

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
Several drops each mint extract and
Green food coloring

Chocolate Glaze:

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T. Crisco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Mix butter or margarine and cocoa powder in a large saucepan. Heat until the butter or margarine is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar completely before adding eggs, unless you like chocolate scrambled eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients and spread evenly in a 9 x 13 pan. Bake about 24 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

For the frosting, you must use butter. Margarine or crisco will not work well. Make sure your butter is very soft. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until the frosting becomes frosting. It will work. Don't add liquids other than the food coloring and mint extract. The softer your butter is, the faster this will come together. Also, if you have cookie paddle(s), they will work better than a whisk-type mixer. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled brownies. Dipping your knife in HOT water and shaking it off will help you to spread the frosting more easily.

Place the chocolate chips and Crisco in a small saucepan. Do not use butter or margarine. Only shortening will work well for this step. Melt on low heat, stirring until smooth. Spread over the mint frosting and allow to cool. If you're in a hurry, throw it in the refrigerator for a while.

If you're not in the mood for mint chocolate, you can use my special variation. I don't know why mint and chocolate are called grasshopper. I think it has something to do with alcohol, but I don't drink. I just decided that cherry and chocolate will be called ladybug. So there.

Ladybug Brownies:

Follow all instructions for Grasshopper brownies, except on the frosting, you will change the "several drops each of mint extract and green food color" to "several drops each balsamic vinegar, cherry flavoring and red food color".

Anybody know of an orange and black bug? I like the same recipe with several drops each balsamic vinegar, orange extract and orange food color.

You could also do Bumblebee brownies with lemon, but I haven't tried it.


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