These are the cutest cookies to ever come out of my oven. Dramatically white with dark chocolate cracks running through them. And with a faint hint of mint that makes them easy, easy ,easy to eat one, and then another, and then another, and then another...
They are inspired by the similar girl-scout cookie that should bring memories and nostalgia to many. Not to me since I never tasted or saw one, but to Nancy Silverton, who does have those kind of memories, and who came up with these cookies.
I had been wanting to make this combination of mint and chocolate for a while now.
The dough of these cuties has crème de menthe and mint leaves, but no extract. They infuse first and then transfer an aftertaste of mint to the baked cookie. The oven does all the miracles, opening the mint flavor in the dough and making the rounds blossom.
I know you´ll probably cringe at the sight of the mint liqueur, with it´s ridiculous emerald green color that is absolutely unappealing, but keep on and you won´t regret it a bit. Had not this been a trusted baker´s recipe I would´ve turned the page fast after reading the ingredients. Trust me, everything in this recipe works.
It´s a hands on affair, definitely. The dough is shaped into truffle-like rounds and then coated first with sugar and then with powdered sugar. The first coating prevents the second one from being absorbed by the dough during baking, so they remain fiercely white, especially if you, like me, coat them with a lot of powdered sugar; I mean, so much that you have to fight the urge to shake them.
Nancy talks about variations in the flavor, exchanging the mint for rum or orange liqueur and such. Since I like doing that a lot, especially with fruity alcohol, I think this might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
CHOCOLATE MINT COOKIES
from Desserts, by Nancy Silverton
Yields about 50 cookies.
12 oz (340g) bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces
6 Tbs crème de menthe
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
½ cup plus 2 Tbs (100g) flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
4 Tbs (60g) unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (I didn´t)
In a heatproof bowl, melt chocolate and butter over barely simmering water. Turn off heat and let mixture stand over warm water until ready to use.
In a small saucepan, scald crème de menthe with chopped mint leaves. Remove from heat, cover and let infuse 15 minutes.
In a bowl stir together almond meal, flour and baking powder.
With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thick, pale and forms ribbons when the beater is lifted, about 5 minutes.
Mix the crème de menthe into the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Whisk the chocolate into the egg mixture until combine. Whisk in the flour mixture and combine well. The batter will be somewhat runny. Chill until very solid, at least 4 hours. (I left it until the next day)
Preheat the oven to 325ºF / 170ºC.
With your hands, roll the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet. Your hands will get messy. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
To coat cookies, place the granulated sugar in a small bowl and the powdered sugar in another bowl. Remove cookies from the refrigerator and roll one at a time in the bowl of granulated sugar to lightly coat. Then repeat with all the remaining cookies coating them heavily with the powdered sugar. They must be completely white.
Place on a paper or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until they crack open.
Allow to cool completely. The cookies will remain soft in the center.