I’m not a holiday baker. I think a few years ago when I initially posted about holiday baking, I said something stupid like, “I love it! I should really do it more!” or something equally lame.
I’m not being a scrooge either. I just prefer cooking over baking. The thing with baking, for me, is that the majority of it is all precise and has to be. That seems kind of silly to me. I don’t like math and I don’t like using math excessively in the kitchen.
However, there are recipes that I make all the time. Especially cookies. Like this one. I’ve made these chocolate mint cookies almost every Christmas. It started a few years back when one of my best friends and I decided to make them. It started out as a baking disaster, but over the years, we’ve sort of perfected the whole thing.
I should also mention, I never make cookies for myself and REB. These little tasties aren’t allowed to stay in the house. We might enjoy one or two…ok maybe four or five, but then they go to people outside of our home. In this case, my parents got a few to take on their 28-hour flight overseas.
In any case, I revisited this recipe of chocolate mint cookies, and decided to change a few things. I had first started with white chocolate, and then was informed by REB that white chocolate “isn’t really chocolate” when the cookie dough (which really looked like batter) turned into goop. I wish I had known this before. Again, I never bake so would I know this? The kitchen disaster went into the trash after a horrible batch of flat, gloopy cookies came out of the oven.
After that, I decided to keep to the original recipe, but changed four things: adding peppermint extract and chopped up Andes mints to the dough, and topping them with a different Andes mint and candy canes. The different Andes mint didn’t melt too well on a lot of the cookies because again, they were white “chocolate” with candy canes in them. BUT I was all, “Tis the season” so decided to go with the seasonal variety. I’ll probably refrain from this next time. Although, REB did say they tasted better to him than the norm.
Either way, they did turn out OK and I think these slight changes made a world of difference. The mint flavor was taken to the next level and the added surprise of biting into a chocolate mint as you eat the cookie made them soft and full of flavor.
I’m bummed the white chocolate didn’t work out. Oh well. Lesson learned. Only use white chocolate to make bark ;)
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 1½ light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chip
- 2 eggs
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2½ cups flour
- ¼ cup chopped Andes mints
- 24 individually wrapped Andes mints, cut in half
- 6 whole candy canes, crushed
- Start by adding butter to a large saucepan over low heat.
- Add the brown sugar and water, and stir until butter and sugar are melted.
- Next, add the peppermint extract and stir well.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir until mostly melted.
- Remove the pan from heat and continue stirring until all the chocolate is melted.
- Pour butter mixture into a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment. Leave to sit and cool for 10 minutes.
- When the mixture has cooled slightly, turn onto medium speed and add the eggs, one at a time until combined.
- Next add the baking soda, salt and slowly add the flour until dough forms.
- Turn the mixer off and scrape the whisk with a rubber spatula to get all the batter into the bowl. Fold in the chopped Andes mints until combined.
- Put dough in fridge, uncovered for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Scoop a tablespoon or so of dough into your hand and roll into a ball.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and arrange balls about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies have spread out a little and are slightly cracked on top. If they feel soft, this is OK.
- While they are baking, unwrap the Andes mints and break in half, set aside in a bowl.
- Place candy canes in a ziploc bag and crush with a glass or rolling pin.
- Remove cookies from oven, and carefully remove from hot sheet to cooling rack.
- Top each cookie with ½ a Andes mint and wait 5 minutes until they are melted. Use a spoon to help smooth the chocolate over each cookie. While the melted chocolate is still warm, sprinkle with crushed candy canes.