Desserts/Pastries

Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies

Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies


I think if you asked most people what their earliest candy memories were, they would probably say licorice, jellybeans, lollipops, or even chocolate bars. Nope, not me. My earliest candy memories were of Andes Chocolate Mints. Sure, it may seem strange for a 4-year old to love Andes Mints, but they were the special treats that our grandparents would give us—mostly by my Grandpa, Ôn.

When we were good (or needing consoling), he would hand us a few of the one-inch rectangles of minty-chocolate goodness. I would savor each little piece, allowing it to slowly melt in my mouth. Yum. And to this day, I attribute my love of “minty” things to these delicious confections.

So you can imagine my delight when I came across a bag of Andes Mint Chocolate Baking Bits at the local grocery store. (And they were on sale, too–SCORE!) So many options came across my mind of how to incorporate these minty bits into some type of decadent dessert. Should I make Brownies? Cupcakes? Ice cream?

Upon my sister’s suggestion, I settled on Cookies and looked to America’s Test Kitchen for some guidance. The recipe below is quite similar to the Chocolate Toffee Cookies I had made a few months ago with the same rich, brownie-like consistency. But of course what made these cookies so special were the bits of mint sprinkled throughout each bite. Truly reminiscent of Andes Chocolate Mints and my childhood.

Now Friends, a question for you…….What was your  favorite childhood candy?

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Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Ingredients:

16 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
¾ Teaspoon Salt
4 Large Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
10 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1½ Cups Brown Sugar
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
1½ Cups Andes Mint Chocolate Baking Bits

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with the oven racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, melt semi-sweet chocolate. This can be done by placing the bowl over a pot of simmering water (for a make-shift double-boiler) or in the microwave at 50% power. Stir and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand electric mixer), beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar at medium at speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add one egg a time to the butter mixture, beating after each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the cooled melted chocolate and beat until well combined.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in mint-chocolate baking bits. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture is easy to scoop and fudge-like.

Using 3 tablespoons of dough for each cookie, roll the dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, switching the position of the sheets and rotating them back to front halfway through baking. The cookies are baked when the edges are set, but the center are still soft. The cookies will still look a little raw in between the cracks, but are done.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the dough, using cooled cookie sheets. Serve the cookies warm or at room temperature.

Makes 25 to 30 cookies.

Note: I only had dark-coated baking sheets on hand when making these and found that the bottoms of the cookies were too dark despite the decrease in oven temperature to compensate for the sheets. As a result, I switched to using Silpats instead of parchment and had much better results.



Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies
Did I mention that these would be delicious as a vessel for Ice cream Sandwiches? YUM!

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Desserts/Pastries · Ice Cream

Mint Chip Gelato….Homage to National Ice Cream Month

July was National Ice Cream Month! And what better way to compliment the summer heat than with a big old bowl of your favorite ice cream flavor. My favorite flavor? Easy. Mint Chocolate Chip—-but not just any variety. This gal requires that her Mint Chocolate Chip not only taste good but have that bright green hue that only food coloring can bring 🙂 It just tastes better….True Story.

And although I realize traditional Gelato is different than Ice Cream, I thought that its Italian counterpart would be a great “lighter” alternative to celebrate this fun food month. I was inspired to try out the Mint Chip Gelato from Ravenous Couple as I liked their interpretation from David Lebovitz and Mark Bittman.

The recipe was straight and to the point—-and with my lovely Cuisinart Ice Cream/Sorbet Maker, it was a breeze! Because I added 1.5 bunches of fresh mint to my base, my gelato was MINT-A-LICIOUS—which was perfect for me. I think the only change I would make next time would be to reduce the cornstarch to 1 Tablespoon as 2 was just a little too much for my liking. And because of the high volume of fresh mint that I used, I was able to achieve a very pretty light green hue. Quite lovely with no food coloring needed.

And not only was my end product delicious but I knew exactly EVERYTHING that was in it and could control amounts, etc. No added preservatives or filler ingredients here.

There’s nearly two official months left until Summer ends and I intend to fully give my ice cream maker a work out 🙂

Until next time friends, stay COOL (pun intended).

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Mint Chip Gelato
From Ravenous Couple

Ingredients:

2 Cups Whole Milk
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
Pinch salt
1-2 Bunches Fresh Mint, washed, dried, and destemmed
5 oz. Dark Chocolate

Make a slurry with about 3-4 tbs of milk and corn starch in a bowl and set aside.  Add the remainder of the milk to a sauce pan, mint, salt, and sugar under medium low heat.  When mixture starts to bubble, turn off heat and allow mint to steep for about 1 hour.  Then pour mixture over a sieve and squeeze out the fluid from  mint and discard.

Reheat his mixture under medium low heat. When it begins to bubble, add your mixed slurry and stir making sure there are no clumps. Continue to heat until it thickens..when you can run a line on a back of a spoon without the mixture coming together it should be done.  Cool completely (preferably over night) and then add to your ice cream maker, follow it’s directions.

Place the container that you plan on storing the ice cream in the freezer.

In the mean time, coarsely chop the chocolate into small pieces and heat over a water bath.  When the ice cream maker is done, scribble the melted chocolate onto your cold container–it should freeze almost instantly. Scoop in a layer of ice cream and break up the chocolate. Scribble more chocolate and layer on more ice cream.  Continue until done and freeze until firm.  Before serving allow to thaw just slightly before scooping.