Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chocolate Mint Desserts

What you'll be seeing here are chocolate with mint flavor desserts...

Check them out!

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Grasshopper Mint Oreo Cookie Cups

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    Grasshopper Cake

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Chocolate Mint “Grasshopper” Pies

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Double Chocolate Mint Brownies

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Grasshopper Ganache

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Want to know how or why “grasshopper pie” comes around, read on below!

Grasshopper Pie

Food historians and primary evidence place the genesis of this American pie in the late 1950s/early 1960s. Chiffon pies were very popular at that time. The "grasshopper" name is borrowed from a popular green-colored cocktail, also *invented* about this time. There is speculation this recipe was invented by food/drink companies to promote their products. It is quite likely, although we cannot verify in print. This is what the food historians have to say: "I suspect--but cannot verify--that [Grasshopper Pie] recipes descend from one that appeared in High Spirited Desserts, a recipe flier published jointly by Knox Unflavored Gelatine and Heublein Cordials. It begins "Dinner guests sometimes click their heels with glee over a superb dessert." Then it goes on to urge the reader to be "devil-may-care. Knox Unflavored Gelatine provides a variety of handsome and delectable dishes. Heublein Cordials provide the spirits that give each sweet masterpiece inimitable flavor. Serve with pride. Await applause modestly." Unfortunately, there's no date on the leaflet. Given its yellowing state, however, its purple prose, and whimsical Jester illustrations, I suspect that it belongs to the late 50s or, possible, the early 60s."

---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 372)

"Grasshopper pie. A dessert pie made with green creme de menthe cordial, gelatin, and whipped cream. It derives its name from the green color of the cordial. The pie is popular in the South, where it is customarily served with a cookie crust, and probably dates from the 1950s."

---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 144)

"Grasshopper pie. The name of this mint-chocolate pie corms from the after-dinner drink, which is made by shaking 1/2 ounce cream, 1/2 ounce white creme de cacao, and 1 ounce creme de menthe together with ice cubes, then straining. This pie may have had its start in the Fifties when creme de menthe had considerable cachet, and by the Sixties it had quite a following."

---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1995 (p . 256)

"Q. Do you know the origin of the name chiffon as related to cooking and the origin of a chiffon pie known as a grasshopper? A. The word chiffon obviously applies to foods that have a delicate or light and fluffy consistency. I seriously doubt that any book could date the exact origin of the word. A grasshopper pie is made with green creme de menthe, white creme de cacao and cream. The filling comes out a delicate green color. The word derives from the cocktail that bears the name grasshopper, It is made with those ingredients, which are shaken with ice and strained."

---"Q & A," New York Times, December 21, 1983 (p. C11)

"Grasshopper Pie. That Queen of Pies, the Grasshopper. Here's the recipe from the Hiram Walker people just as it appeared in all sorts of advertising a couple of years ago."

---Best Recipes from the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars, Ceil Dyer [Galahad Books:New York] 1979 (p. 393)

[NOTE: Book contains recipe, no date.]

The earliest reference to grasshopper pie in the New York Times was published in 1904. It is for the "real" thing:"

"Big grasshoppers, such as grow fat and buzz loudly in the Orient, are looked upon as table delicacies in the Philippines. There are several methods used by the natives for catching grasshoppers. The most effective is the net...The hopper is first so thoroughly dried out in the head of the sun or in the bake oven that there is nothing left that is really objectionable, and a nice crispy article of food results. This states sweet of itself, and something like ginger biscuits. The natives usually sweetened the grasshopper more by using a sprinkling of brown sugar. Then the confectioners make up grasshoppers with sugar, chocolate trimmings, and colored candies in such a way a very nice tasting piece of confectionery is obtained. The housewife of the Philippines takes considerable delight in placing before you a nice grasshopper pie or cake. The grasshopper pie is the most wonderful dish, as the big hoppers are prepared in such a way that they do not lose their form."

---"Grasshoppers for the Table," New York Times, March 27, 1904 (p. SM8)

The earliest NYT recipe for Grasshopper Pie, as we Americans know it today, was published in 1963. It does not reference any specific name-brand products. It does, however, confirm the popularity of this dessert in the time frame established by the food historians.

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