Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Top 'O the Mint to Ya.

I have regaled you all on several occasions about how I believe mint is truly one of the best things a person can add to a dessert. I also spent the entirety of last March gushing over why I love Saint Patrick's Day desserts for that reason. Well, that and the booze. Saint Patrick's Day food celebrations are precisely why I gave up drinking booze for Lent and not eating booze for Lent. I knew I wouldn't be able to resist a Guinness chocolate cake slice or two. I realize the probability of my going to hell relies on a lot more than my abilities to keep my Lenten promises, but I'm trying to do real good here with my blogs and baking every week. Just call me the Mother Theresa of desserts. Unless there's another patron saint of desserts...did anyone else just hear a lightning strike? It's starting to feel a little smite-y in here, so I better get to the good stuff. Mint can only be improved by the addition of chocolate...and more mint. I decided to continue on with the handheld dessert kick I've been going on with quite the fervor lately, so cookies seemed inevitable. But chocolate chip cookies with just a dash of mint extract didn't seem minty enough. I wanted to bite into a cookie and get the sudden overwhelming urge akin to that of a York peppermint patty but with even more minty substance. I knew what this recipe would call for...the pinnacle of chocolate mint candy: the Andes mint. And thus, the mint chip cookie was born.
Are they for the Grinch or for the leprechauns? Who knows...because in either case, if you leave these out after midnight with a glass of milk, someone's gonna eat them. And that someone is probably me. I've got a bit of a mint chip gutbomb happening between the dough I ate and cookies I ate once again in the name of blogging. Or something like that. But the good news is that these mint chip cookies require very minimal time and effort on your part but will be the hit of most Saint Patrick's Day related treat festivities. I promise there's no alcohol in these, so they're even kid safe! I know, look at me, being a baker for the people.
See, no baking booze in sight!
I pretty much did some riffing and freestyling based off of my tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe to come up with these. So gather up:
  • One stick of room temp butter
  • One room temp egg
  • 3/4 C of sugar
  • 8 drops green food coloring
  • 3/4 tsp of mint extract (not peppermint)
  • 1 1/2 C of flour
  • 1/4 C of vanilla instant pudding powder (This is the secret ingredient that keeps the cookies from going stale for weeeeeks.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar (This always makes me think of tartar sauce, but I promise you these are unrelated. The cream of tartar will help the cookies stay "puffed up" while baking without taking the usual 2 hours required to freeze the cookie dough balls so they stay puffy after baking.)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C Andes mint baking chips
Start by preheating the oven to 350 and greasing a cookie sheet. Cream together the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until fluffy and Peep-like in appearance. Blend in the egg, food coloring, and mint extract. Scrape down the bowl before adding in the flour, dry pudding mix, salt, cream of tartar, baking powder, and baking soda and blending slowly until fully incorporated. Finish up by adding in the chocolate chips, blending slowly, and then the Andes chips, blending slowly. 
I ate a lot of dough. Apparently, two cookie's worth.
For all you self-restrained, non-gluttonous people out there, this recipe will make 24 cookies. For those of you with a bit of a raw cookie dough fetish like me, chances are you'll yield about 22 cookies after sampling the raw goods. Don't feel bad about your dough addiction; it could be worse. You could be addicted to crack. Life's all about perspective.
Missing: my dignity.
Using a cookie scoop, plop eight mounds of dough onto the greased cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes. While baking, get another tray out and scoop the remaining dough into cookie balls and place into the fridge. Once the cookies are done, they will still look pale, but I promise they are set in the middle. Rest them on the baking sheet for five minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Repeat the bake/rest/cool method until all of your cookies are done!
Even if you didn't eat any raw dough, you will crumble under the pressure of not eating any cookies at this point.

Pictured: 11/12's of two dozen cookies.
Once the cookies are totally cooled, store in an airtight bag or container. Thanks to the pudding powder trick, these will stay fresh for a couple weeks, so you don't have to eat all of them in a day or two. Not that that will stop you from trying. But no need to feel the pressure. I'm very happy to report from start to finish, in under one hour I had the perfect cookie of my dreams. It was the cookie form of a scoop of Blue Bell's mint chocolate chip ice cream. And since that flavor hasn't made it back on the market yet, I am more than thrilled to have a stand in for the time being. The mint extract plus the mint Andes chips are absolute perfection and take a boring, routine chocolate chip cookie and make it something incredibly decadent. I love that these cookies have a slight crisp to the outside but are melt-in-your-mouth soft on the inside. This is a Kate Bakes Cakes recipe that with be sticking around from now until it's decided no one will celebrate Saint Patrick's Day ever again. I hope to be long dead if or when that day comes, so be sure to bury me with a couple dozen of these. They'll probably stay fresh for the first year or two anyway thanks to the recipe tricks. Be on the lookout for the next couple of weeks for new (and sometimes boozy) recipes to celebrate the coming holiday! 'Til next time, my fellow eaters! 
Pro tip: If you hate drinking milk like I do, try introducing fresh cookies into the equation. You won't be able to get enough of the stuff!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave me some love, some advice, tell me the meaning of life...whatever you fancy! You don't have to have a Blogger account, you can leave a comment by clicking "Anonymous" in the "Comment As" box..but if you're not a troll, leave me your name after your comment so I know who said what!