Please tell me you’ve had these before.

Okay… these exact ones are not really from 1988. At least I don’t think so. But I’m a little nutty. The closest I get to that is finding canned soup in my pantry that expired in 2002. Take it as you will.

This brownie comes straight from a yellowed index card out of my mom’s seemingly unorganized recipe box. She and my aunt made them incredibly often back in the day… at the height of shoulder pads, electric blue eyeshadow and women’s puffy corduroy dress shorts that came down to the knee and were worn with sheer tights. You know, the decades where B.U.M equipment sweatshirts, pogs, bubble necklaces and slouch socks went to die? Thankfully. Count your blessings.

Over Labor Day weekend, these brownies came up amongst conversation and my eyes lit up. I hadn’t had them in years. And since then? Since that first week of September? Nearly 6 weeks ago? They are all I’ve been able to think about.

I need a life.

They are probably the sole reason I even considered mint chocolate chip donuts.


So I ran out and bought some creme de menthe, which was finally found at the third liquor store I ventured into after the first two associates, both creeping up on their 70s, stared blankly at me and yelled “Are ya sure ya don’t mean cream da mint?”

Yeah buddy. I’m sure.

You can find clear creme de menthe but what’s the fun in that? I know I particularly enjoy ingesting vibrant green artificial coloring… especially when sandwiched between two layers of fudge. Yum! I just had to make them green, for that was the only way I could really remember them and figured it was the perfect tribute to all the other artifically colored and flavored treats I absorbed as a tween. And I knew my mom would appreciate it, since we’re talking about the woman who makes a darn good argument convincing you that the *best* cranberry sauce comes straight from an Ocean Spray can.

[P.S. don’t you like how neatly (?) and nicely I slice and stack my brownies? NOT.]

Another giant clue that these were the happening dessert at the end of last millennium, amidst Gushers, Pop Rocks and various layered frozen ice cream “casseroles?” The brownie recipe called for two full cups of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. I just couldn’t bring myself to do that, but it did conjure some fabulous memories of my brother Andy mixing tons of strawberry syrup into glasses of milk every single day until he was about 15. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and induces vomiting at the same time. Ga-ross!


My cousin and I dug into these a few nights ago after eating almost the entire pan of butternut squash lasagna. They were delicious, super rich, and had just the right amount of mint without being overpowering. But the thing is… they didn’t taste quite as good as they did in the 90s. I’m pretty sure you have to rock a side ponytail, a phat silk button down shirt, and air pump hightops and then they’ll taste 50 times better.

Creme De Menthe Brownies

[brownie adapted from my red velvet brownies]

makes one 9 x 13 pan

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)

2/3 cups chocolate chips (optional)

mint layer

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup creme de menthe

chocolate fudge layer

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. With the mixer on medium speed add in flour, cocoa and salt, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread batter in the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Let cool completely before adding mint layer. When cool, beat butter and powdered sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer, making sure to scrape down the sides until combined. Add in creme de menthe and mix until smooth and mixture completely comes together. Spread on brownie layer, then refrigerate until set, about 1-2 hours.

Melt chocolate and butter together (either in a double boiler or in the microwave – I do it in 30 second increments, stirring until smooth), then pour over top of mint layer. Refrigerate until set, another 1-2 hours. These are great right out of the fridge, but I especially love them once they have sat at room temperature and are super fudgey.

Note: these can be made in an 8×8 pan for thicker brownies, but they are super sweet. I love rich desserts and was happy with the 9 x 13 pan.


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203 Responses to “Creme De Menthe Brownies from 1988.”

  1. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — October 20, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    These remind me of the mints you get at marshall fields at christmas time – too bad marshall field’s doesn’t exist anymore. Stupid Macy’s. I’m bitter.



  2. #
    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) — October 20, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    I’ll gladly jump back 20 years if I get to eat one of these! But I will not put on a pair of tapered jeans!


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 8:01 am



  3. #
    abbyleigh — October 20, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    haha. lylas. the beginning of text lingo before we could text :)


  4. #
    Kathryn — October 20, 2011 @ 7:08 am

    Oh the 90s were so darn good weren’t they?


  5. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — October 20, 2011 @ 7:09 am

    Omg they look fabulous!!

    I grew up with my mom’s creme de menthe bars. They weren’t a brownie bottom but more like a graham crackery, buttery, cocoa powder infused crust. They are the stuff Christmas season baking dreams are made of. It was one of the first “complicated” desserts I ever veganized/GF’ed for my blog a couple years ago. I got them pretty close to my mom’s version, actually.

    But your version makes me giddy with excitement. I WILL be trying these. They look spectacular!


  6. #
    Lys — October 20, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    Ah! Pogs! I thought I was the only one left from suburbia who remembered those….or who at least was lame enough to buy them. Yes, I may have thrown my “slammer” at my brother’s head when I was pissed that he won. Ahhhh youth. No wonder I didn’t make the cheerleading squad.

    Epic brownies by the way. Green layer = awesome.


  7. #
    Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 20, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    My friend is obsessed with Creme de Menthe, I am so making him these for Christmas! Well, maybe I’ll make them sooner? Your brownies look so good! I’ll be making them in the 9 x 13, not so much for sweetness or calories, but for the fact I’ll have more of them!!! Do you think you could freeze brownies? I’m betting you can. This would make for a perfect I need chocolate when the mood strikes, even though that’s kind of all the time! Thanks for the recipe! This one is going into the I must make pile! My friend Samip will love me forever when I give him these!


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 8:00 am

      I think the key to freezing brownies is to freeze them in a single block, uncut so they don’t dry out. Or to cut them, wrap each square tightly in saran wrap and go from there. But I don’t really freeze anything so I’m no expert!


  8. #
    barefootgirl — October 20, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    I have no idea what you are talking about…slouchy socks have never died.

    and these look awesome. I have 2 teenagers that will devour these ;) ans a childish husband who might beat them to it!


  9. #
    Becki's Whole Life — October 20, 2011 @ 7:15 am

    These may be from the 80’s, but this looks so good right now…love chocolate and mint. I remember the ones my mom made got kind of fluffy for some reason and I like that yours layers are nice and compact….yum. I also liked grasshopper pie that was probably from the same time. There were also those grasshopper cookies that were like oreos..oh yum….


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 7:59 am

      Yeah, I think the original recipe does make them fluffy – I didn’t use that brownie recipe and ended up using one of my own… mainly because the first one failed me twice. Oye.


  10. #
    Rodzilla — October 20, 2011 @ 7:15 am

    Mint isn’t a generally a go-to flavor for me, but I really, really want these. They look like giant homemade Andes mints, and everyone knows those are the king of mint candies.


  11. #
    Anna @ Food Fitness Frolicking — October 20, 2011 @ 7:18 am

    These look just fantastic!!!! And LYLAS, hahahhaha I just had to laugh.


  12. #
    Laura @ Special Treats — October 20, 2011 @ 7:20 am

    These look incredible. You.are.amazing. I have made SO many of your recipes and not ONE has failed me. of your recipes is fabulous, so thank you thank you for finding your talent and running with it. I enjoy your blog oh so much :)


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 7:58 am

      Thanks so much Laura!


  13. #
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — October 20, 2011 @ 7:21 am

    Oh my those look delish. And you just described my childhood….to a tee! I miss the slouch socks, perfume from Beneton (okay, I still have a little bit left just to sniff and bring back some memories), the side ponytail. Ahh….to be young again!

    Now I need to eat a brownie!


  14. #
    Ami @ parsnipsandpears — October 20, 2011 @ 7:21 am

    omg I soooo remember these! My mom also used to make naniamo bars similar to this (with the bright green filling) every Christmas!! I think naniamo bars are more a Canadian thing, but boy are they delicious!!!


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 7:58 am

      I think they are too as I’ve never had one, but i am dying to try!


  15. #
    my honest answer — October 20, 2011 @ 7:21 am

    Ice-cream casserole! I remember those days well


  16. #
    Gen — October 20, 2011 @ 7:27 am

    Love anything with chocolate and mint flavors!!! Yum!


  17. #
    Kim in MD — October 20, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    This post made me smile, Jessica! I love chocolate and mint together, so I know I will love these!


  18. #
    Sommer J — October 20, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    looks fabulous! perfectly chocolatey and the husband would love the mint immensely!


  19. #
    kaitlin @4loveofcarrots — October 20, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    These look heavenly and I love that you just uses lylas!


  20. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — October 20, 2011 @ 7:37 am

    Food from childhood- memories from childhood. I don’t know which is better?!?!
    LYLAS! totally miss those days! :) Too funny- I actually had to jog my memory, “I know that acronym. Think Julie, think!”


  21. #
    Emily — October 20, 2011 @ 7:37 am

    I think I’ll just eat 1,000 Andes mints until I can find the time to make these. I know you’d approve :)


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 7:58 am

      I’m cool with that.


  22. #
    AJ — October 20, 2011 @ 7:46 am

    Yum! Growing up we called these “green guys.” My mom actually makes a layer cake (chocolate cake, creme de menthe, chocolate cake, creme de menthe, hard chocolate icing) for my birthday every year like that :)

    fun fact: my aunt ate too many of the brownies when she was pregnant and her doctor thought she was diabetic. haha


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 7:57 am

      Hahaha, oops.


  23. #
    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — October 20, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    LOL! I’m dying at the LYLAS reference, too funny! These look so rich and yummy!


  24. #
    Marisa @ Loser for Life — October 20, 2011 @ 7:48 am

    My friend at work used to make these all the time (yes, in 1988 ;) ) and we all went CRAZY for them! So good!


  25. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — October 20, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    My mom used to make a version of these every year for the holidays, so good! Yours look fantastic.


  26. #
    Lauren — October 20, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    Loved seeing these!! This is my dad’s absolute favorite holiday treat…my mom has to make it every year at Christmas for him :)


  27. #
    Katrina — October 20, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    These sound freaking awesome!


  28. #
    Erica — October 20, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    Um…I have found some scary old soup in my pantry as well. I wonder how it made it through all of my “pantry cleaning” sessions. Apparently I thought I would need it some day- expired or not! I have had these before but it was AGES ago. I’m not a huge chocolate person, but throw some mint in the mix and I’m in


  29. #
    Kathy — October 20, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    I make these often, altough I take shortcuts and use box brownie mix and peppermint extract =) everyone loves them


  30. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — October 20, 2011 @ 8:03 am

    Once I get over the Nyquil-looking first photo, I’m totally making these. :)


  31. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 20, 2011 @ 8:03 am

    i know i’ve told you this before but i don’t love mint…UNLESS IT’S IN BROWNIES. if i made these i’d be so screwed…


  32. #
    Buccinator — October 20, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    Where was this post last week when something so similar swirled around in my head? Brownie, buttercream with mint extract (And a drop of TEAL food coloring because apparently my fiancé likes to “look at the colored dots on top and not actually read what color it is.”), and chocolate ganache. They were really good, but super rich. For once we didn’t eat the whole pan. And we ALWAYS eat the whole pan.

    I think we should try to eat a whole pan of your version. Maybe two.


  33. #
    Ashley's Cooking Adventures — October 20, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    Aren’t these called grasshopper brownies too? I laughed out loud when I read LYLAS at the end! Remember signing your name in yearbooks with TLA and how all the letters would be connected?


  34. #
    Caitlyn — October 20, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    I should really learn to read your blog after breakfast, so that I don’t get the urge to eat brownies for breakfast rather than something somewhat healthier! Or, I could just add some dark chocolate chips and call it healthy, since dark chocolate is somewhat healthy….right?! I’m going with Yes!


  35. #
    Alicia at AliGirl Cooks — October 20, 2011 @ 8:18 am

    My mom’s best friend makes these! We always request she brings them to parties and cookouts! She cuts them into little squares so when you eat 4 of them, you don’t feel so bad!


  36. #
    brandi — October 20, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    lylas! omg, i just about died laughing. i totally forgot about that!

    i bet they would be better with 2 cups of hershey syrup. but yeah…that skeeves me out a little thinking about that much syrup.


  37. #
    Claire — October 20, 2011 @ 8:27 am

    I am now a morning person because of you… I wake up, excited to see what you’ve posted today. True story. And is it time for Christmas baking already?! These brownies are definitely in my top five for favorite Christmas desserts!


  38. #
    Evan Thomas — October 20, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    Yum. I love creme de menthe brownies. I think they’re my favorite of all. I could put away a whole pan, which is why I try and bake them only around the holidays when other people will eat them, too, so my breath doesn’t smell like altoids for days.


  39. #
    Katie — October 20, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    Is there really only 3 tbs cocoa powder in the brownie part? No melted chocolate, none of the hershey’s syrup? oh, and pogs.. those were strange. I never really “got” it. What did the slammer DO anyway??


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 9:26 am

      Yep! They are the same recipe I’ve used for my red velvet brownies. I used dark cocoa powder which is why they are so dark. They work here because the brownies are super rich with the toppings, but if you just wanted them plain you could definitely add a little more chocolate.


  40. #
    Kelly — October 20, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    I actually haven’t heard of these before…I am always the last one to any party! ha!


  41. #
    Sarah — October 20, 2011 @ 8:43 am

    Oh man I love your 90’s references. Makes me want to dress up as my 10-year-old self for Halloween – can you say stirrup pants with L.A. Gears and a t-shirt knotted with a scrunchie?? I think I’d have to also throw in blunt bangs and stringy hair (I was blessed by the stick-straight hair fairy).

    That being said, I have to make these for my husband, all he talks about this time of year is grasshopper brownies. I guess I can humor him!


  42. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — October 20, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    The LYLAS at the end completely made the post. It made me want to write you a note, fold it up into some intricate design and pass it across the the classroom to you.


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 9:25 am

      Gah, I miss passing notes. Maybe I’ll write one to my mom or something today, lol.


  43. #
    sherri lynn @ life of a wife — October 20, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    Yeesss! These were one of my all-time favorite desserts growing up! I love anything chocolate+mint but there’s something about these brownies that’s truly special. I would make them today buuut not sure the hubby is a huge fan of mint. And I don’t really want the aftermath of me eating a whole 9×13 pan myself. Will make them soon!


  44. #
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — October 20, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    Oh these look heavenly. I’ll admit the amount of ingredients is a little intimidating but I think I’ll save it for a day when hubby asks “is there anything I can help you with?” :-D


  45. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 20, 2011 @ 8:56 am

    These look fabulous! Slouchy socks and shoulder pads, ha ha! That gave me a good laugh this morning…


  46. #
    lindsay — October 20, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    haha, my mom used to make these alot! they are so good!


  47. #
    Lisa @ Life in Green — October 20, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    omg. I haven’t had one of those in years! My grandma used to own a small clothing store and always made these bars for her Xmas open houses….I’m pretty sure I would eat half the tray – everytime. Also makes me think of getting glass bottles of Mt. Dew from the nearby pop machine and eating pizza pockets from Breadeaux pizza.


  48. #
    Laura — October 20, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    Ahhh! LYLAS! I forgot about that!

    Does anyone use KIT anymore? I’d leave my phone number, with no area code, but that would be weird.

    I remember using BFF in forth grade (1992ish). Kids these days think they made that one up- but my BFF and I definitely did.


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 9:24 am

      What is KIT??


      • Laura — October 20th, 2011 @ 9:33 am

        KIT- Keep in touch! As in over the summer. You’d write that in your friend’s yearbook, along with your area code-less phone number! Then you wouldn’t hear from that friend until the first day of school the next year.

        • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 10:14 am

          LOL! I don’t think I ever used that. Remember when summer used to seem sooooooo long?!

  49. #
    Anna @ On Anna's Plate — October 20, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    Mmmmm…your palate was much more refined in the eighties than mine. I would have bypassed these for some dunkaroos. :-)


  50. #
    Bev Weidner — October 20, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    A SCRUNCHIE APPEARED around my ponytail just reading this.



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