Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Decadent Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
Christmas was pretty green this year. So green, that we were playing outside in the sunshine on Christmas Eve. It was glorious. Of course, now Old Man Winter has decided to barge over to our side of the country and bring mountains of snow and frigid, arctic temperatures that make us want to remain in bed huddled under as many blankets as possible. And by "us", I am solely referring to Paul, Lucy, and myself.
Emma and Matthew welcomed the snow and cold with much enthusiasm. When Emma woke up the other morning after our first real snowfall, she glanced outside the window casually and began to squawk: "Snow! Snow, Mommy! SNOW! Can we please play OUTSIDE?!"
I might be alone here, but I really detest the kids playing outside in the snow. Here's why. First, we have to gather all our winter gear and find a place to store it. We have a very small hall closet and cramming it all into there is pretty difficult. Then, we have to properly dress each child in their head-to-toe snow gear. Snow pants, gloves, scarves, hats, coats, heavy socks, and boots. They're so bundled up, they can barely move. And most little kids do not understand the concept of gloves. Then, after about 45 minutes of preparation, they finally head out the door. They spend close to 10 minutes wandering around outside, carving little pathways throughout the backyard or constructing a leaning tower of ice and calling it a snowman, before they are back inside begging for hot chocolate. And then you have to get them all underessed, put everything away, and then make hot chocolate. Which someone always spills everywhere.
It's good wintertime fun, right?
I am very please that the past few days, Emma and Matthew have actually spent quite a bit more time outside than normal. Emma loves to sit and make snow angels. Matthew built a snow fort. Both kids have enjoyed using the snow-covered swing set. And, every once in a while, I would glance outside and see Matthew working diligently on his fort and completely unaware that Emma is sneaking up behind him with a huge snowball to throw in his face. So cute. I've actually surprised myself so far and enjoyed sending them outside to play.
The recipe I wanted to share today is another new-to-me Christmas cookie that I made with my Mom. This ended up being our favorite cookie. Really, I knew it was going to be good because it has Andes Mints in the dough. I was completely blown away by how much me and everyone loved them. Paul was so incredibly sad when I ended up giving 90% of them away to teachers and friends as gifts. He just about cried. I promised to make another batch, but I never got around to it. I'm certainly not going to wait until Christmas to bake another batch - they're just too good to only make once a year!
Decadent Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, cool room temperature (not warm or overly soft!)
3/4 cup (5.5 ounces) lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs (3.5 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (3 ounces) finely chopped Andes mints
Additional 1/2 cup finely chopped Andes mints for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer), cream the butter, brown sugar and white sugar together until well-mixed, 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped Andes mints until combined and no dry streaks remain.
Scoop the dough and shape into heaping tablespoon-sized balls and gently roll the tops into the additional crushed mints, pressing lightly into the plate or bowl of crushed mints so they stick to the top of the cookie dough ball.
Place a couple inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-11 minutes. Be careful not to overbake. The middle should be very soft.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.