American Classics: Thin Mint Grasshopper Parfaits
Chocolate and mint. There are few pairings quite as epic. Not surprisingly, crispy, minty, chocolate-enrobed Thin Mints are the most popular Girl Scout cookie. They comprise upwards of 25% of total sales, some of which have gone to yours truly. In honor of Girl Scout Cookie Week—and who am I kidding, the upcoming Mad Men Season 5 premiere—I wanted to take my favorite cookie and give it a decidedly 1960's dessert treatment, parfait-style, by layering liquor-laced Grasshopper Pie filling with my beloved Thin Mints.
The traditional Grasshopper Pie combines a chocolate wafer cookie crust with a light and airy gelatin and meringue based filling that's whipped up with both crème de menthe and crème de cacao.
In the recipe development stage, I tried to go the traditional cookie crumb crust route and make a crust of Thin Mints by crushing them into small crumbs, mixing them with butter, and baking the crust for a few minutes. Alas, science was not on my side. The chocolaty coating that makes Thin Mints so dangerously addictive melts in the oven and reforms into an essentially impenetrable crust—a giant 9 inch Thin Mint, if you will. Not a terrible problem to have if you promise yourself that you're only going to have one Thin Mint, but it makes it awfully challenging to share in pie form.
As I was flipping through a 1960s era cookbook, I spotted pudding parfaits and inspiration struck. I could take the fluffy Grasshopper filling and layer it with the cookie crumbs, then top it with more whipped cream and an extra Thin Mint. Lovely to look at, even lovelier to eat. The French translation for parfait says it all: perfect.
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About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered children's book editor by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie and a Midtown Lunch contributor. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.