November 16, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookies

Credit where due:  I based this recipe on the Chewy Chocolate Cookies recipe originally published in the January 2009 Cook's Illustrated.  That recipe makes a great chocolate cookie. incorporating both baking cocoa and chocolate chips.  I wanted something different, though - a cookie that would incorporate chocolate and mint flavors - so I used the basics of that recipe and put a mint spin on it.

The resulting cookies are excellent... moist and chewy and flavored with both chocolate and mint, with neither completely dominating.  Most of the mint chips dissolved into the dough, enhancing the chocolate and mint flavors, but the pieces pressed into the tops of the cookies remained largely intact, thus providing more intense bits of both flavors. 

First swing at this recipe and I hit a home run.  This recipe is a keeper.  I don't think this batch will last long, but that's okay, because I expect I'll be making these again soon.

Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookies

yield = 16 cookies

1/3    cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for coating
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4    cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2    teaspoon baking soda
3/8    teaspoons salt
1/2    cup dark corn syrup
1       large egg white
1/2    teaspoon mint extract
1/2    teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 tablespoons), softened
1/3    cup pack dark brown sugar
5       ounces Andes creme de menthe baking chips + 2 tablespoons for topping

Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a bowl or baking dish.   Stir flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.  Beat egg white, corn syrup, mint extract and vanilla together in a small bowl.

Fit stand mixer with paddle attachment.  Beat butter, brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Scrape bowl with a spatula.  Reduce speed to medium-low. Add corn syrup mixture and beat until incorporated, about a half-minute, then scrape mixer bowl again.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and creme de menthe baking chips.  Mix about 30 seconds, then scrape bowl again and stir through the dough with the spatula to make sure all the flour is mixed in.  Chill the dough in the mixing bowl for about 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 15 equal portions, rolling each in a ball about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Roll each ball in the granulated sugar and arrange the dough balls on a cookie sheet, 8 to a sheet (two rows of 3 and a middle row of two dough balls).  Press 5 or 6 of the creme de menthe chips into the top of each ball of dough.  Bake both sheets of cookies together for about 10 1/2 minutes, switching (from top to bottom) and turning the baking sheets halfway through that time.  The edges of the cookies will have begun to set, but the centers will still be soft and there will be some cracks in the dough, with the dough in the cracks appearing underdone.  Do not over-bake. 

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for five minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer them to a wire rack until cooled to room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. Juli here. Jeffrey used Droste Dutch Cocoa for the cookies. It's readily available in the Dutch town of Pella, and some of the communities surrounding Pella. Best cocoa ever!

    Droste's Cocoa also makes the best hot chocolate: just mix the cocoa with sugar and add warmed milk. Delicious!