I think “grasshopper” in the title of this recipe is a lot more fun than just “mint and chocolate ice cream cups,” but why is the chocolate and mint combo called “grasshopper”?
I looked it up and didn’t find much except that the grasshopper is a minty after-dinner cocktail. The creme de menthe liqueur gives the green color to the drink as well as the minty flavor while the creme de cacao adds the chocolate portion. Apparently the drink originated in New Orleans back in the 50’s.
Truth be told, in my childhood I had no desire to go near anything that mixed these two flavors. Chocolate, YES! Mint? No thanks.
Then I grew to savor the sweet coolness of the Junior Mint candies–my pick of candy at the movies in my adolescence. Later I widened my sophistication when I discovered Andes Mints in my young adulthood.
However, I never had a desire to make anything with both mint and chocolate in my desserts…until last year when I crossed paths in March with a few brownie/mint combos (St. Patty’s day, you know) ,and I have been dying to try them but haven’t made the time yet (I know, I know, March was like many moons ago).
When this recipe for chocolate & mint ice cream cups flashed across my computer screen, though, I knew I had to make it soon, and the September heatwave in So Cal brought just the right opportunity. So, when this school year’s first Salad Club invite showed up, I knew exactly which dessert I would create for the event.
These Grasshopper Ice Cream Cups make for a fun presentation, they look more complex to make than they actually are, and they taste refreshingly cool.
Below is my spin on the recipe. The original site says add a handful of this and a splash of that. Well, those kinds of directions don’t work for me, so I made sure to track measurements to share with you. Enjoy!
Grasshopper Ice Cream Cups
Yield: 24-30 (depends on whether you use some crumbs to sprinkle tops of the ice cream cups)
- 1 package mint & fudge cookies (I used the Keebler brand 10-ounce package)
- 1/4 cup (4 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
Ice Cream Layer
- 1 quart mint chip ice cream
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao baking bar; semisweet chocolate chips would work, too)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
- optional: chocolate jimmies or green sugar sprinkles
- For bottom cookie layer, break cookies into chunks and place in a food processor. Process until cookies form into fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse a few times until crumbs are coated with butter. (If you want to sprinkle some crumbs on top of the ice cream cups, set some aside before adding butter, about 1/4 cup. However, adjust how much butter you use. For each cup of crumbs, use 2 tbsp. melted butter.)
- Place 1 tbsp. crumbs into each muffin paper, then tamp down the crumbs using a tamper or the back of a spoon.
- Scoop 3 tbsp. ice cream into each muffin cup (I used my small cookie scoop), and either flatten the ice cream with your fingers or with the back of a spoon. Place ice cream cups in freezer while making the ganache topping. Note: If the ice cream is too hard, let it soften a bit while in the muffin paper. The first time I made these, I let the ice cream soften before scooping. The second time, I scooped while it was frozen hard and found it easier to work with than when it was softened.
- For the ganache topping, chop the chocolate into small bits. Place in a bowl or cup with a spout.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream, milk, and corn syrup just until it begins to bubble. Stir it occasionally so it won’t scorch bottom of pan. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Give the bowl a tap to settle the milk into the chocolate. Let stand one minute undisturbed, then gently mix from center outward until chocolate melts and mixes into the milk.
- Pour the ganache over the ice cream cups to cover the ice cream (it will pour thickly). Start at outside edges and work your way to the center. Use your finger or the back of a spoon the spread the ganache to cover all exposed ice cream.
- If you want to sprinkle with cookie crumbs, do so quickly because the ganache will harden quickly atop the frozen ice cream. Sprinkle it on after pouring ganache onto every two muffin cups. Chocolate jimmies or green sugar sprinkles would make for fun presentations, too. Place in freezer to harden, which shouldn’t take long. After hardening, store in an airtight container.
SOURCE: adapted from Dreyer’s