Ready for some festive holiday treats? Hop to! The kitchen, that is, to make these mini grasshopper pies.
It's hard to imagine a happier holiday dessert than these pint-sized pies. But--shh--I'll tell you a secret: they're not, strictly speaking, the result of a traditional Grasshopper pie recipe. I had a little help from my friends. And by friends, I mean Among Friends Baking Mixes.
Among Friends is one of my favorite baking mix companies. As I mentioned in my other recent recipe featuring their products (double chocolate magic cookie bars OMG), I really appreciate their mixes, for a number of reasons. For one, the mixes are gluten-free. While I am a card-carrying member of the I Love Gluten Society, I have taken enough baked goods to group events only to have half the tray of cookies, cake, or pie or whatever uneaten because half of the group is gluten-free, so I appreciate a mix that will yield baked goods which are appropriate for a crowd. Second, there's nothing creepy in the ingredients: no GMO stuff, and the mixes are made with whole grains.
OK, so back to these mini pies. I mixed up the Among Friends "Alec's Brownie Mix" according to the instructions, and baked 'em up in one of those jumbo cupcake tins (sometimes called "texas size", the ones that have the same volume as a 12 cup pan but only have 6 supersized vessels). Once baked, I pressed a well in the center of each brownie, in which I put a peppermint-scented cream cheese buttercream mixture. But, you know, that wasn't quite enough for me to call finished, so I topped 'em with melty chocolate and sprinkled them with crushed starlight mints.
Listen, the finished results were absolutely delectable. Brownie + peppermint + cream cheese buttercream. What is not to love?
While these are "mini" as pies, they're actually pretty generously sized as desserts, so they're a good indulgent dessert, or if you're into sharing, they're good for that, too.
Mini Grasshopper Pies
Makes 6 - printable version here
For the bases
- 1 pouch Among Friends brownie mix
- 3 eggs
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
For the filling
- 4 ounces (1/2 brick) cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- green food coloring
- 2 ounces good quality chocolate, melted
- crushed candy canes or starlight mints
Start by making the brownie bases. Generously grease a 6-cup "Texas" cupcake tin (you can also use a regular cupcake tin; you'll just need to watch the bake time as it may be slightly shorter). Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, eggs, melted butter, and peppermint extract. Mix until cohesive.
Divide the mixture between the greased cupcake cups; they will be a bit less than halfway full.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until "set" on top (I baked these at high altitude so it may be a slightly different bake time for you!).
Remove from the oven, and while still warm, press the risen domes of the brownie-cakes down with a spoon, creating a well in the center of each "cup". With a knife, loosen the sides of the brownies. Let cool completely, then invert to release the brownies from the pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese until nice and smooth (no lumps!). Add in the sugar and peppermint extract; keep mixing on low, until niiiiiiice and creamy and smooth. Stir in a few drops of the green food coloring and mix until smooth.
OK, so here's where I like to keep things nice and clean. I lined each cup of the liner with plastic wrap and put the brownie bases BACK in the cups. Then, I scooped a nice spoonful of the filling mixture on top of each and spread it. Then, I put the whole tray in the freezer for about 45 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven, and extract each little pie from the pan. Drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with crushed starlight mints or crushed candy canes. Enjoy!