Grasshopper Parfaits

[Photograph: Pam Parrella]

Minty Grasshopper pie filling layered with whipped cream and a Thin Mint cookie crust.

Note: Don't let a lack of "real" parfait glasses (and long spoons) prevent you from making these pretty desserts. Get creative and go to town with whatever glassware you have (wine glasses and martini glasses both work great!). These parfaits were served up in recycled Nutella glasses (one more reason to love Italian Nutella).

This recipe is adapted from a recipe that appeared in the New York Times in 1963, accessed via The Food Timeline.

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.

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Grasshopper Parfaits

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 6
Active time:1 hour
Total time:3 hours
Special equipment:stand mixer, whisk, food processor
This recipe appears in: American Classics: Thin Mint Grasshopper Parfaits

Ingredients

  • 20 Thin Mint Cookies
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 envelopes plain gelatin (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup green crème de menthe
  • 2 tablespoons crème de cacao
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup egg whites (or pasteurized egg whites), at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

Procedures

  1. 1

    Add 14 Thin Mint Cookies (one sleeve's worth) to the food processor. Pulse until you have fine crumbs. Set aside.

  2. 2

    In the top of a double boiler combine water, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved. Sprinkle mixture with gelatin and let soften for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time until combined.

  3. 3

    Place double boiler over boiling water and heat mixture, whisking constantly, until gelatin is completely dissolved and the mixture begins to thicken slightly.

  4. 4

    Remove from heat and whisk in crème de menthe, crème de cacao and vanilla. Refrigerate mixture, stirring occasionally, until mixture becomes the consistency of unbeaten egg whites, about 20 minutes.

  5. 5

    While the gelatin mixture is chilling, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form and set aside. Next beat the egg whites and cream of tarter until egg whites begin to stiffen slightly. Lightly sprinkle in remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into the gelatin mixture, then fold in half of the whipped cream, reserving the rest to top the parfaits.

  6. 6

    Divide half of the grasshopper filling among the six glasses, spooning it in carefully so as not to smudge the sides. Next spoon in the cookie crumbs, dividing them evenly among the glasses. Repeat with remaining grasshopper filling. Refrigerate to set, about two hours or overnight. Just before serving, top with remaining whipped cream (you may want to rewhip the cream slightly to incorporate more air). Garnish with a whole Thin Mint and serve immediately.

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