Aunt Martha’s Chocolate Mint Squares

Chocolate mint squares are an easy cookie bar recipe perfect for the chocolate mint lovers! A great dessert recipe for Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day because of the vibrant green color, or anytime you’re craving a decadent treat!

A wooden board stacked high with creme de menthe squares. The chocolate mint bars are in front of a bottle of creme de menthe, a holiday plant, and surrounded by additional christmas treats and decorations.

To say the Christmas cookie spread was massive at our family holiday gatherings growing up may be an understatement. My mom and all of my aunties are fantastic bakers and they all love to make lots of kinds of cookies to share with everyone. While some recipes came and went, a handful have been a standby for as long as I can remember, these chocolate mint bars made by my aunt Martha included.

These beautiful little squares show 3 distinct layers making them a lovely addition to any holiday dessert spread. The rich chocolate and pop of mint has you coming back for more, and these are often one of the first treats to disappear every year.

If you’ve been looking for ideas for new Christmas desserts to bring to your holiday get-together, or want to wow your friends at your next Christmas cookie exchange, make these delicious chocolate mint layer bars!

TELL ME ABOUT THIS CHOCOLATE MINT BARS RECIPE

Level of difficulty: Easy. The hardest part is being patient as each layer chills!

Flavor: Chocolate and mint, similar to an Andes mint candy

Time: You’ll need about 3 and ½ hours to make these chocolate mint bars (they’re worth the wait!). This includes your prep time, baking the bottom layer, and 45 minutes to 1 hour of chilling time between each layer.

Top down view of the ingredients needed to make chocolate mint bars.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

Salted butter

Cocoa powder

Powdered sugar

1 large egg

Vanilla extract

Green creme de menthe liqueur

Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Heavy whipping cream

NOTE: THERE ARE DIFFERENT STRENGTHS OF CREME DE MENTHE

I have to admit that I didn’t know this until I made my very first batch of these chocolate mint squares and was curious why they weren’t as minty as my aunt Martha’s. Luckily, we had 2 bottles of creme de menthe in the cabinet from different brands. I had used the bottle in the front of the cabinet which was 30-proof. The other brand was 60 proof! While the batch of bars I made was still perfectly delightful, I wanted to note this so you were aware of it. If your local store has multiple options, I would recommend the stronger proof version for a bigger pop of mint in this Christmas treat recipe.

9 image collage showing the process of making this chocolate mint bars recipe. Shows the green creme de menthe layer being poured and spread over the bottom chocolate graham cracker layer. And the chocolate ganache being poured and spread over the creme de menthe layer.

OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE MINT SQUARES

1. Make the bottom layer and chill

  1. Crush graham crackers (preferably using a food processor to get them finely crushed and of equal size). Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. In a medium or large size mixing bowl, melt ½ cup butter. Stir in cocoa until combined. Add in ½ cup powdered sugar, egg and vanilla extra until combined.
  4. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and mix until all are coated.
  5. Press the mixture into a 9×13 pan to create an even and tightly packed layer.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, and then allow the pan to cool until you are able to handle it (approximately 15-30 minutes).
  7. Once the pan is cool to the touch, cover the pan with plastic-wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill (a minimum of 30 minutes).

Make the middle layer and chill again

  1. Melt ½ cup butter. Add the green creme de menthe and slowly beat in 3 cups of powdered sugar (I like to add it in ½ cup increments) until a smooth mixture has been created.
  2. Pour the creme de menthe layer over the cooled chocolate and graham cracker bottom layer. Spread into an even layer with a rubber scraper.
  3. Cover the pan with plastic-wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill (a minimum of 45 minutes) until set.

3. Make the top layer and chill one last time

  1. Melt chocolate chips, ¼ cup of butter, and ⅓ cup of whipping cream in a double-broiler over medium heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth.
  2. Note: you can also do this in the microwave by placing the ingredients into a small, microwave safe mixing bowl. Melt in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
  3. Pour the chocolate ganache layer over the cooled green creme de menthe layer. Spread into an even layer with a rubber scraper.
  4. Cover the pan with plastic-wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill (at least 1 hour) until set.

4. Let the bars sit at room temperature briefly then cut into squares

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut bars into 1” x 1” squares (approximately, just aim for similar sized pieces).

5. Plate, serve, and enjoy!

6. Store

  1. Store your creme de menthe bars in an air-tight container. I like to keep mine cold by placing the container in the fridge.
A stack of chocolate mint squares surrounded by lots and lots of additional chocolate mint bars.

Cutting tips

Cutting these when chilled can result in the top layer cracking. Two ways to ensure a cleaner cut include:

  • Let your pan sit at room temperature for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting for the cleanest cuts.
  • Use a sharp and hot knife to cut your bars. One of the simplest ways to warm your knife is to place it into a pan of hot water. Dry off the blade prior cutting, then wipe clean and place the knife back into the water to warm up again.

making a cookie tray? pack these separately.

Because mint is such a strong flavor, packing these onto a larger cookie tray can cause everything to taste minty. However, this is an easy thing to avoid! By packing your chocolate mint squares on a separate plate, at least to transport them to your event, will prevent this from happening.

EXPERT TIPS

For the best bottom layer, use a food processor. Using a food processor is my recommendation for the bottom layer for a few reasons.

  • It ensures your graham crackers get finely crushed, which helps the base hold together.
  • Using a food processor helps you mix together your bottom layer ingredients quickly.

If you do not have access to a food processor, crush your graham crackers by hand or with a rolling pin. Just note, this may result in more crumbly creme de menthe squares.

Make sure to chill each layer before adding the next layer of your bars. This is especially important between layers one (the chocolate and graham cracker crust) and layer two (the green creme de menthe layer). If you add the creme de menthe layer onto a warm base layer it tends to soak into the crust, resulting in bars that are missing that pretty green stripe.

Midwest chilling tip: embrace and use the cold winter weather! If you live in a place that is cold when you make these layered chocolate mint bars, you can chill your various layers outside! Find a flat surface, ensure your pan is covered well each time, and let mother nature cool these down for you.

Wondering if your layer is set? Touch it and find out! The goal with the bottom layer is to be cool, and you’ll be able to see if it is warm at all by placing your hand on it briefly. For the middle layer, you want to ensure the mint layer has set so that the next layer will sit on top of it. Again, give it a light poke and if it is cool and hard you are ready to add the next layer. If any of the mint layer comes off on your finger, it needs to chill longer. The top layer is a chocolate ganache that needs to re-harden after being melted and spread across the top of your bars. If you poke the final layer and have chocolate on your finger, or leave an obvious fingerprint, it’s not ready yet.

LOVE THIS RECIPE? YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:

Aunt Martha's Chocolate Mint Squares

Impress your friends with these beautiful 3-layer chocolate mint squares! This easy dessert bar recipe is perfect to make for holiday gatherings, cookie exchanges, and to share with family and friends.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Inactive Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 96 Squares
Calories 32 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 +1/4 C salted butter divided between layers
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 3 +1/2 C powdered sugar divided between layers
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C crushed graham crackers about 1 & 1/2 sleeves
  • 1/3 C green creme de menthe liqueur
  • 1 +1/2 C semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

Step 1: Make the bottom layer and chill

  • Crush graham crackers (preferably using a food processor to get them finely crushed and of equal size). Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium or large size mixing bowl, melt ½ cup butter. Stir in cocoa until combined. Stir in ½ cup powdered sugar, egg and vanilla extra until combined.
  • Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and mix until all are coated.
  • Press the mixture into a 9x13 pan to create an even and tightly packed layer.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, and then allow the hot pan to cool on the oven until you are able to handle it (approximately 15-30 minutes).
  • Once the pan is cool to the touch, cover the pan with plastic-wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill (a minimum of 30 minutes).

Step 2: Make the middle layer and chill again

  • Melt ½ cup butter. Add the green creme de menthe and slowly beat in 3 cups of powdered sugar (I like to add it in ½ cup increments) until a smooth mixture has been created.
  • Pour the creme de menthe layer over the cooled chocolate and graham cracker bottom layer. Spread into an even layer with a rubber scraper.
  • Cover the pan with plastic-wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill (a minimum of 45 minutes) until set.

Step 3: Make the top layer and chill one last time

  • Melt chocolate chips, ¼ cup of butter, and ⅓ cup of whipping cream in a double-broiler over medium heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth.
  • Note: you can also do this in the microwave by placing the ingredients into a small, microwave safe mixing bowl. Melt in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
  • Pour the chocolate ganache layer over the cooled green creme de menthe layer. Spread into an even layer with a rubber scraper.
  • Cover the pan with plastic-wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill (at least 1 hour) until set.

Step 4: Cut into squares

  • After the top layer is set, let the bars sit at room temperature briefly and then cut into 1" x 1" squares using a sharp knife*
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!
  • Store your creme de menthe bars in an air-tight container. I like to keep mine cold by placing the container in the fridge.

Notes

*Square size of 1" x 1" is approximate. The goal is to cut your bars in to equal sized squares.
 
*For the best bottom layer, use a food processor. Using a food processor ensures your graham crackers get finely crushed and helps you mix together your bottom layer ingredients quickly. Having finely crushed graham crackers in your bottom layer helps to give these bars a sturdy base that holds together well. 
 
*Make sure to chill each layer before adding the next layer of your bars. This is especially important between layers one (the chocolate and graham cracker crust) and layer two (the green creme de menthe layer). If you add the creme de menthe layer onto a warm base layer it tends to soak into the crust, resulting in bars that are missing that pretty green stripe.
 
*Once all three layers have been made and chilled, bring your bars back up closer to room temperature to cut into squares. I know it’s hard not to cut right into these once your top ganache layer has set, but if you do it tends to crack. Let your pan sit at room temperature for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting for the cleanest cuts.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 32kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 14mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 16IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. However, please know that I strive to provide links to products that I actually use and wholeheartedly recommend whenever possible.
Share this Recipe

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?




Comments

  1. Martha says

    5 stars
    These are one of my favorites every year! It does seem like lots of steps, but really easy! You won’t be disappointed. Thanks for the shout-out! Aunt Martha