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.

LYLAS!

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

  1. #
    51
    Mandy — October 20, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    These look AWESOME!! i made a version of these from Cooking Light a few years back, but those were understandably a bit dry. Now that I’m of the strict opinion if I’m having dessert, it’s high fat all the way, I’ll definitely be bookmarking this recipe for Christmas.

    All these 90s references are making me so nostalgic. Maybe I can go and rock a pair of MC Hammer pants. On second thought, maybe some things are best left behind LOL

    Reply

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

      I had the BEST MC Hammer pants!

      Reply

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    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — October 20, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    Oh my GOSH. I want my phat silk shirts back. I also now have the extreme urge to sign my emails “LYLAS” and/or “143,” which would *really* not be office-appropriate. This may legitimately be one of my favorite posts of yours ever…solely because I cringed at my tween self the whole time since eveeeerything is applicable. Oh so applicable. ;)

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 9:23 am

      Okay, I’m dumb… what is 143??

      Reply

      • Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — October 20th, 2011 @ 9:47 am

        143 = I love you
        1 – number of letters in “I”
        4 – number of letters in “love”
        3 – number of letters in “you”

        All the cool kids with AOL 3.0 were usin’ it. :-P

        • colleen — October 20th, 2011 @ 10:13 am

          Haha,This reminded me of my childhood. all the parents in my neighborhood would say 248 to anyone that aggrovated them . It was adult code for saying : Go F*** Yourself :O) w/o swearing in front of us. It makes me laugh because now we all use it ourselves.

          • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 10:13 am

            Hahahaha!

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

          I definitely wasn’t a cool kid!

        • Cate — October 20th, 2011 @ 11:24 am

          Oh, that goes back to the days of pagers. I had to hide my pager from my parents when in high school because my mom said only doctors and drug dealers carried pagere. It think back now and wonder why on earth did I ever have a pager? LOSER! :)

  3. #
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    Cait's Plate — October 20, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    HAHA. Neat and nice is over-rated. These still look freakin’ delicious. Even with the creme de menthe in place of the cream da mint ;)

    Reply

  4. #
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    Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy — October 20, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    These look delicious! My aunt used to make something like this and I would devour them!

    Reply

  5. #
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    Cathy — October 20, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    lol, these look declicious….I can promise you, in 20 years everyone will look back and think denim jeggings were ridiculous too……

    Reply

  6. #
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    Nicole — October 20, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    but for reals, you HAVE to try the hershey’s syrup brownies/cake. forget the mass amounts of high fructose corn syrup. it’s fudgey heaven. i mean, if ina makes it….
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chocolate-ganache-cupcakes-recipe2/index.html

    Reply

    • Nicole — October 20th, 2011 @ 9:30 am

      ps. i bet tj’s midnight moo would work wonders.

      Reply

      • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 10:15 am

        I considered using it but I didn’t have enough! And TJs is too far away from me to make a quick trip. Next time!

  7. #
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    Laurie @SimplyScratch — October 20, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    Phat silk shirt! HAAAAAAA had one. I wore it with stirrup pants. :/ These look fab!

    Reply

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    Lori @ RecipeGirl — October 20, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    How great is that story?? How fun that you went on the hunt for the stuff and found it! I’d do the same. In fact, I’d go to 18 stores if I were obsessed with the idea of finding something like that, lol! We totally had these in the 70’s I think (um, remember I’m older than you are…). They look yummy.

    Reply

  9. #
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    Milisa @ Miss in the Kitchen — October 20, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    I need a pan of these today, I know it would make me feel better! Love the 80’s memories you conjured up this morning. Last week was my 20th high school reunion and everything you said fits.

    Reply

  10. #
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    Shannon — October 20, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    INVU4URAQT- ever use that one? :) Brownies look amazing! Great for holidays.

    Reply

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

      Wow… I don’t think I did, lol.

      Reply

  11. #
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    bridget — October 20, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    I just wanted to let you know that you are my favorite ceWEBrity. I don’t even cook and read this site every day!

    Reply

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

      Ha! Thanks so much Bridget. :)

      Reply

  12. #
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    Jamie — October 20, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    Jess-I love these and I love all your 90’s throwbacks! It definitely takes me back to that time. In fact, I was just reminiscing at work about the old tv shows such as Are you Afraid of the Dark, Hey Dude, and Ahh Real Monsters!!!! I do miss the clear jellies and slap bracelets. And let’s not forget Polly Pockets! :) thanks for the memories. TTYL

    Reply

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    Sarah — October 20, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    Back in the day I used to make an easy version of these with a brownie layer and york peppermint patties melted on top for the last few minutes in the oven – delicious! These look even better.

    P.S. LOVED pogs! Remember how they got banned from schools for trading?

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 10:13 am

      OMG, yes!

      Reply

  14. #
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    Cookin' Cowgirl — October 20, 2011 @ 10:09 am

    Oh WOW! Those sounds amazing!!

    Reply

  15. #
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    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — October 20, 2011 @ 10:14 am

    I had a similar recipe bookmarked last year!! I never got around to making it and now I feel I absolotely must! Thanks for the early morning brownie craving ;)

    Reply

  16. #
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    Amanda M. — October 20, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    LYLAS – I recently had a boyfriend discover an old box of hand written notes I saved from middle school/high school…you know, the kind you wrote in every color gel pens and folded all neatly to exchange in between classes. ALL of them were signed LYLAS and now he finishes all our emails, notes, facebook messages in LYLAS haha!

    The brownies look delicious :)

    Reply

  17. #
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    d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo — October 20, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    YUMMMMMMM. They look like Andes Mints I love it!!

    Reply

  18. #
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    Stephanie — October 20, 2011 @ 10:25 am

    Those are absolutely going on my Christmas treats list!!

    Reply

  19. #
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    Melanie — October 20, 2011 @ 10:31 am

    I don’t like mint chocolate, but I DO love me some 90’s. There are a few trends still around or making come-backs. It makes me feel so old, but seeing kids in vests, leg warmers and jelly shoes makes my day! Chuck Taylors are still AWESOME (very few things are timeless). Combat boots peaked in 1995, but there are still hangers-on. Have you seen the Kardashians in pointed shoulder pads? omg, for reals? WTH.

    Reply

  20. #
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    Melissa — October 20, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    Props on the LYLAS. I’m also a fan of SWALCAKWS!

    Truth: the people in the office next door are blasting Taylor Dane’s “Tell It to My Heart” right now. This day could not get any better.

    Reply

  21. #
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    Ashley — October 20, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    How did you not mention Hypercolor tshirts??? ;) TWO cups of hershey’s syrup?? I can’t even imagine!! haha Mint choco is one of my favorite combos. I reallllly need to buy mint extract…or some creme de menthe I suppose!

    Reply

  22. #
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    Cassie — October 20, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    Those look delicious! I’m adding them to my “must make soon” list!

    Reply

  23. #
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    kaceyt @ om&nom — October 20, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    Oh, mint + chocolate, how I love you! But, alas, Mr. Torres does not feel the same way. I’m still hearing about the last recipe that I made with a banned ingredient in it so these probably don’t have a chance of being made and eaten by me:P I’ll just enjoy the amazing pictures!

    Reply

  24. #
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    Estela @ Weekly Bite — October 20, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    I haven’t had these in years! They look incredible :)

    Reply

  25. #
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    Maya — October 20, 2011 @ 10:49 am

    Ahhhhh love. Obsessed with anything mint chocolate.

    Reply

  26. #
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    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — October 20, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    Wow, I feel totally uncool, I just had to google LYLAS! I knew 143, but never heard of LYLAS before. Ahh!

    Reply

  27. #
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    DessertForTwo — October 20, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    I absolutely need these in my mouth right now! Such a classic recipe! Love these! Now, off to find creme de menthe in my tiny town! Wish me luck :)

    Reply

  28. #
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    Jessica — October 20, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    There were invented in Canada… called Nanaimo Bars! The traditional bars have a creamy middle layer, but many people adapt it to make it mint!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanaimo_bar

    Reply

  29. #
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    Kristi — October 20, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    Le Bag (which I called my LEE bag). Esprit. United colors of Benetton? Yes WAY!? I wanted to be a fly girl when I grew up. Anyway, my great-aunt Colleen (as Irish as the day is long) still makes these brownies, they’re famous in our fam like Uncle Jesse. And we definitely have 3 or 4 mostly-empty bottles of green cream de menthe in our liquor cab. I Love it Like a Sista! Outie 5000.

    Reply

  30. #
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    Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen — October 20, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    I WISH I wasn’t born in 88…just missed the glory of the 80’s. The nineties on the other hand…a whole familiar world of crop tops and high tops was born. Gotta love it. P.S. those brownies remind me of Andes mints…sooo tasty!

    Reply

  31. #
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    Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen — October 20, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    I WISH I wasn’t born in 88…just missed the glory of the 80′s. The nineties on the other hand…a whole familiar world of crop tops and high tops was born. Gotta love it. P.S. those brownies remind me of Andes mints…sooo tasty!

    Reply

  32. #
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    Leah Atha — October 20, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    YUM! I had these for the first time in 2004, and the lady who made them must have been a perfectionist because every layer was perfectly even. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to making these!

    Reply

  33. #
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    Michaela — October 20, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    Until now, I didnt even know there was such a thing as creme de menthe brownies!! boy, i have missed out big time!! but hey, its never too late ;)

    Reply

  34. #
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    Anne Weber-Falk — October 20, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    We called these Creme de Menthe Dreams!

    Reply

  35. #
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    Cristy — October 20, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    LYLAS!!! Holy cow. Blast from the past.

    Reply

  36. #
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    Jennifer — October 20, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

    My mom still makes these brownies every year at Christmas, and I always look forward to them. I’ll have to try your recipe.

    P.S. I totally looked up Hey Dude on the cable guide yesterday after you mentioned it in a previous post. It’s too exciting that it still comes on and I’m going to have to DVR a couple episodes for when my sister comes to visit since we always watched it together.

    Reply

  37. #
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    Sally — October 20, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    Yum, yum, yum! These remind me of the brownies that Starbucks puts out for the holiday season.

    Reply

  38. #
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    erin — October 20, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    my mom used to make these for christmas! and she was also totally into the ice cream casserole along mini cheese cakes made with nilla wafer crusts. you just brought back some great memories :) :)

    Reply

  39. #
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    Katie D — October 20, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

    Wow, this post was great – not only for how amazing those brownies look, but I love things that bring me back to the 80’s and 90’s. I had to google what “pogs” were because it had escaped my memory – so funny! This kind of makes me want to dress as Punky Brewster for halloween…now, to locate some scrunchies for my hair… :)

    Reply

  40. #
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    Lisa Shearer — October 20, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    Careful, youngster, I like/wore shoulder pads and long shorts with sheer tights!

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

      Haha, Lisa – my mom is still obsessed with should pads. She either sews them into every top she owns, OR she buys the velcro tape so she can velcro them into her tops!

      Reply

  41. #
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    Katie — October 20, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

    This was like watching a foodie version of ‘I love the 80s” on VH1. Also, Meeker still drinks strawberry milk like he’s 10 years old, and I am hoping that slouchy socks and side ponies come back.

    Reply

  42. #
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    Amanda — October 20, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    I had totally forgotten about all of those 80s/90s references! My brother had quite the collection of pogs and he also LOVED strawberry syrup in his milk, as well as strawberry nesquick, and strawberry instant breakfast. All disgusting! But chocolate syrup? I’m still kind of a fan. My mom said she nearly drank an entire can of it one night when she was pregnant with me, so maybe that explains it. And a lot of other things. haha

    Reply

  43. #
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    Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — October 20, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

    I collected pogs too. Heheheh. Gotta love recipes like this that take you back in time.

    Reply

  44. #
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    Lindsay — October 20, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

    Hi, I recognise these as ‘grasshopper’ squares. I won a bake-off with them at my work using a recipe from Good Food magazine. They’re awesome.

    Reply

  45. #
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    Abby — October 20, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    My mom used to make these for Eagles football parties. I used to love them!!!
    Hmmm…looks like I’ll be whipping up a batch of these soon :)

    Reply

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    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries — October 20, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    Oh wow – heaven on earth. They look so gooey, rich, and decadent. Mmmm.

    Reply

  47. #
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    bean — October 20, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    I love these and I make them about once a year. No reason they should be stuck in the 80s!

    I thought a remembered a few weeks ago that you mentioned a blog about baking for two . . . b/c I continue to make AND EAT hundreds of those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with the cinnamon that are OMG good, I need to cut back. Did I imagine this blog?

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

      Nope – that’s my friend Christina! http://www.dessertfortwo.com/ :)

      Reply

      • bean — October 20th, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

        Thank you! I have seriously gained over 5 lbs since subscribing to this blog. I guess I need to read the posts about exercise with as much interest as I do the ones about chocolate or Bella.

  48. #
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    Christina @ This Woman Cooks! — October 20, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    Ahhh I want one of these right NOW! These look so good I might die.

    Reply

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    Maya — October 20, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    If you haven’t seen it already, this 90s childhood in 3.5 minutes video is pretty awesome. Eat those brownies while watching. Tear. http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/your-90s-childhood-in-three-and-a-half-minutes

    Reply

  50. #
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    Holly (2 Kids and Tired) — October 20, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

    The brownies look terrific (I have a similar recipe that I love) and your post makes me feel very old, because I don’t get any of your 90s references. I was a college student in 80s, so I do recognize some of those references! I think I remember more about the 70s though…

    Reply

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