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Mint Meltaways

Happy Passover and Happy almost Easter! While the recipe I have for you today could be Kosher for Passover and yummy on Easter too, I originally produced it as part of the same collaboration with Broadway by the Glass for St. Patrick's Day from last week. But follow along on Instagram or my website's home page this week as I will be sharing a variety of Passover dishes that you might want to incorporate into your spring repertoire whether you celebrate the holiday or not!

Let's start our Monday off with a not too sweet dessert that you just might want to enjoy at all hours of the day! Continuing with the same theme from my Pot of Gold Pancakes in my last post, I have another Irish-inspired snack for you this week. My Luck O' The Irish Cookie Bars have four flavorful layers creating a smooth, creamy, and refreshing bite that instantly melts in your mouth, even though it is served cold. So it is perfect for both cleansing your palate as well as giving you a burst of energy due to its more frigid temperature and fruity, mint vibrancy, making it also ideal for cooling you off on a hot and sunny day (sounds like a classic spring and summer treat in my mind, read on to find out what that might be!).

Now what are all the different layers? The bottom is a caraway pistachio shortbread, bringing in a bright, minty, savory, and nutty note to balance out the many others attributes coming next. On top of the crust is a kiwi, mint, and avocado mousse, both acidic and herbaceous and light as air. Next is a dark chocolate ganache enhanced by mint extract and salt to make certain the mint shines through. On top is an 'Irish cream' whiskey meringue, torched for a little more intrigue at first glance. Because the mousse is very soft, this dessert needs to be kept in the fridge (or the freezer to be thawed when it is time to enjoy) to best appreciate how each layer contributes to the final outcome - which to me resembles a petite ice cream sandwich, a surefire hit for the upcoming seasons! Serve it with the Glocca Morra Martini from Broadway By The Glass, a subtle, delightful combination of Irish cream, chocolate, and mint to flush out these flavors even more and make your little treat as classy as it can be.

The bars themselves are quite simple to make - mix the crust together in a food processor, bake it, and cool. Blend the mousse in a food processor, spread it over the crust, and freeze. Melt the chocolate, add some mint, pour it over the mousse, and freeze. Whip up the aquafaba for the meringue, cut the bars into your size of choice, pipe on the meringue, and torch. Done.

Okay, that actually might seem like a lot of steps, but the are all easy and can be completed concurrently! While the crust is baking, you can finish both the mousse and the ganache. And while it is freezing, you can clean your tools and equipment and prepare your meringue, then complete any other task on the side while waiting. So even though there are four distinct layers, they can all be prepared in a half hour and then assembled at your leisure. Plus, you get an extra treat out of this dish...tons of meringue (technically you get two because you also get chickpeas - with the food processor already out, a hummus is possibly calling your name)!

This meringue uses aquafaba, and in order to have enough to whip with an electric mixer, you need to use at least half of the amount that is drained from a can of chickpeas - this means that you will have a lot left over in relation to the cookie bars. Of course, you can make a larger cookie batch, but even so, you will still probably have excess meringue. What should you do with this glossy, fluffy cloud?

I like to pipe and bake it into crispy meringues with a flavor accent of my choice. They make for a great grab-and-go snack that also melts in your mouth, and they can be customized as you desire. I have used strawberry powder in the past and Matcha green tea this time, but any ground spice or fine tea could work as the tiny granules easily blend into the meringue without affecting its texture (they could even be more savory if you wish). These can be baked while the cookie bar is freezing, and by the time they are torched, the meringues will be out of the oven and ready to consumed as another quick bite. Enjoy them on their own or as part of a snack plate with some chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts - melted chocolate is my preferred accompaniment for it adds a beautiful, there-for-a-moment velvetiness as the meringue disappears into thin air in your mouth, making it even more magical and memorable.

Find the recipe for the cookie bars and the meringues below, and whether you choose to make one or the other or both, you will certainly be enchanted either way. St. Patrick's Day does not have to be the only time we feel lucky - prepare and indulge in these snacks any day of the year and you will know you won the dessert lottery, even on your own time!


Luck O' The Irish Cookie Bars

Yield: 1 4-inch x 4-inch square

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