Monday, February 20, 2012

Magnificent Mint

Like the month of February, these chocolate-mint cookies transcend seasons. The peppermint flavor is reminiscent of the Holidays, yet it possesses a more refreshing flavor rather than the sweetness of a candy cane. This flavor rejuvenates our taste-buds, tempting our minds into believing that spring has come. The chocolate also consists of a lighter taste, yet the cracked nature of the cookie recalls the barren trees present in winter. The cookie’s juxtaposition of flavors (chocolate/mint) and textures (cracked/smooth) perfectly represents February’s strange amalgamation of winter and spring. The cookie is truly delicious, and very easy to bake.


2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Five ounces semisweet chocolate chips (3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat one cup each butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy, three mins. Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine.

2. Place a 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into one-inch balls; then roll in sugar to coat. Place balls one inch apart on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake five mins. Remove sheets from oven; with a small end of a melon baller or the bottom of a small, round measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

3. Bake until cookies are just set but still look moist, four mins. Do not overbake! Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

4. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips and a 1/4 cup butter in 10 second increments until melted; stir in peppermint extract. Let cool until thick enough to pipe, five mins. Transfer mixture to a large zip-top bag; snip 1/4 inch hole in one corner. Pipe chocolate into cookie indentations (store in airtight containers up to one week).

*Recipe from Everyday Food by Martha Stewart

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