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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chocolate Mint Parfait Bars

My friend, Karen, is a wonderful baker.  She always brings delicious treats to events she attends and she likes to mess around with recipes.  We've gabbed on and on about creating recipes and ways of tweaking old standards...lots of fun.

She made some delicious little bars a few weeks ago and brought them to a dinner party we both attended.  There I was snapping cell phone photos of her goodies when I was "caught"... but it was okay because she said she would send me the recipe.  My original intention was to bake them myself for my blog, and then I decided to ask if I could just post what she wrote and I was thinking she could be a guest blogger.  She said here it is.  I think these would make a great addition to an Easter dessert table.  Minty and Spring-time looking.  I think you'll enjoy this recipe and Karen's comments below!

A Pillsbury Recipe


-          1 pkg chocolate cake mix (preferably Pillsbury)
-          1/3 cup softened butter
-          1 egg
-          1 envelope unflavored gelatin
-          ¼ cup boiling water
-          4 cups powdered sugar
-          ½ cup softened butter
-          ½ cup shortening
-          ¼ tsp. peppermint extract
-          2-3 drops green food coloring
-          1 cup chocolate chips
-          3 Tbsp. butter


1.      Mix together cake mix, butter and egg; mix will be crumbly. 
         Press evenly onto bottom of greased 10x15 inch jellyroll pan.
2.      Bake at 350 degrees for 10 MINUTES.  (DO NOT over bake.)  Cool completely.
3.      Meanwhile, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; cool slightly.
4.      Add 2 cups of powdered sugar to gelatin; blend well.
5.      Add ½ cup margarine, ½ cup shortening, peppermint extract and
         food coloring; beat 1 minute at medium speed or until smooth and creamy. 
6.      Blend in remaining 2 cups powdered sugar until smooth.
7.      Spread peppermint filling evenly over cooled base.  (Chill for about 20 minutes.)
8.      In small pan over low heat, melt 1 cup of chocolate chips and 3 Tbsp. butter.
9.      Spread ‘frosting’ over frosting layer.
10.    Chill bars.  Let stand about 20 minutes prior to cutting to prevent
         chocolate ‘frosting’ from cracking.

Deliciously minty!

Karen’s Notes: 

·         Don’t over bake bottom crust.
·         I don’t use shortening, I use all butter; (it’s just me.)
·         I usually put in a bit more peppermint extract.
·         For the last chocolate ‘frosting’ layer, I make 1 ½ times the amount to avoid ‘sparse’ frosting
           (so I use 1 ½ cups chips and 4 ½ Tbsp butter.)
·         I usually store these in the refrigerator; they also freeze great.
·         I’ve experimented with different flavors; a coconut filling
           (I used coconut flavoring and  some toasted coconut mixed in
           (now that I’m thinking about it, I should have added a few almonds.)
·         I tried to make a ‘Maple Bun’ bar using maple flavoring in the powdered sugar filling,
           I baked the crust, threw on some peanuts, poured over some caramel sauce (a small amount) and
           then finished with the maple filling layer and top, chocolate frosting layer.  Wasn’t bad.
·         My next experiment is using a ‘De Leche’ filling, or however you spell it.  I use to buy a bar
           cookie in WI very similar in style/flavor to these; however, they made them with a caramel (or
           something similar in flavor) filling.  I forgot what they were named (maybe Ambrosia Bars,) but I
           think it had something to do with caramel.
           (She later wrote that she found what she was looking for and it was the Nanaimo Bar)

Thanks, Karen...and Bon Appetit, Y'all...have fun making these!!!

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