Is It That Time Of Year Already?

I’m going to call that a “yes.”

Advertisements

Thin Mints, The Remix

I might be a teensy bit obsessive-compulsive. And by a teensy bit, I mean a lot. But I just could not handle having the only photo of my faux Thin Mints be messy and fingerprinted. I know, I know, they look more real if they’re messy. But still.

And so…the remix. They’re shaped differently, I changed techniques a bit, and there are no fingerprints on the chocolate. I mean, not that you can tell, since I took these photos in natural sunlight, and the dark chocolate is just too sophisticated and classy to look fingerprinted even if I had messed them up, but I feel much better about these ones.

Rectangular (and fingerprint-free) thin mints.

Obviously, these ones aren’t round. And they’re actually thin, so I can call them Thin Mints instead of Not-So-Thin Mints.

Basically, Martha’s awesome bottom-of-the-glass trick wasn’t working for me this morning. I don’t know what the deal was, but every time I tried to make pretty, round cookies, they’d end up all funky and not-round. Rather than fight with the cookies, I opted to put the dough in between two pieces of plastic wrap (I ran out of parchment paper this morning, too) and beat it into submission with the rolling pin. Um, roll it into submission. Anyways, then I took a butterknife and cut out rectangles (about 1/8″ thick, 1/2″ wide, 3″ long), and then carefully transferred them over to a baking sheet.

10 minutes in the oven*, 6 minutes to cool. Mint chocolate spread on top instead of dipped (this makes them set faster, who knew?), sprinkles applied, refrigerated until pretty and smooth, and then photographed until my camera battery died.

Pretty solid remix.

*By the way, the new oven rocks my socks off. Not only does it preheat in less than 45 minutes, but there’s a little screen at the top that tells me exactly what temperature it’s at. LOVE.

Not-so-thin Mints

Some friends were having a housewarming party this weekend, and I wanted to bring a fun baked treat. The hostess made a delicious and fancy Italian-style tapas spread, and I knew (via Facebook stalking – shameless, I know) that she had made limoncello cheesecake, so something lemony or tart was out of the question. But chocolate? And mint? Those were a definite option, and even better together.

I have a serious problem with following recipes. I just can’t follow them verbatim, ever – there always has to be something tweaked. Even when the recipe comes from Martha. I used her Chocolate-Mint Wafer recipe as a jump-off point, and learned a few new tricks in the process.

I also caught something on fire. Pretty standard.

Martha’s recipe yields 44 cookies. My variation made just under two dozen. Hers are thinner and slightly smaller, and mine are a little bit heavier on the mint. Not-so-thin Mints, if you will.

I know, I fingerprinted it and messed up the sprinkles. But otherwise it’s so pretty! Plus, The Boyfriend wouldn’t let me sit on the floor taking pictures of the cookies all night because we had to bring them to the party.

The recipe:

Not So Thin Mint Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Mint-Chocolate Coating
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
assorted sprinkles

Do This
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer on low speed, cream butter and sugar, then add in egg, vanilla, and mint. Slowly add dry ingredient mixture; mix until combined. If the dough is clumpy because of the mixer, use a spatula or large spoon to mash it down.

Martha’s awesome trick to making perfectly round cookies: Form balls of dough, and place on a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Dip the bottom of a glass in water, and flatten balls into 1 1/2-inch rounds. Martha says to make the balls with a teaspoon’s worth of dough and press to 1/4″ thick, but I used a tablespoon and made bigger, thicker cookies. Thin Mints these are not.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (Martha says 8-10, but the thicker cookies require a slightly longer bake time). Remove from oven, allow to cool partially, and remove from baking sheet. Cool on a wire rack, or if you don’t have a wire rack, on a dinner plate (guess which one Martha does and which one I do).

While the cookies are cooling, make the chocolate-mint coating. Either set up a double-boiler or balance a metal bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Place semisweet chocolate chips, peppermint extract, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in the bowl. As the water boils underneath, the chocolate will melt. Use a spoon or fork to stir the peppermint and salt into the chocolate, and continue to heat until the mixture is smooth*.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper, or freezer paper if that’s all you can find at your grocery store. Martha encourages you to “set each cookie across the tines of a fork, dunk in chocolate, then tap underside of fork on side of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip off,” but most of the time I just threw the cookie into the bowl of melty chocolate and fished it out with the fork. Place the coated cookies on the paper-covered baking sheet, and add your choice of decorative sprinkles. I opted for chocolate sprinkles and non-pareils. On a side note: non-pareils are really annoying – I’d stick with the chocolate sprinkles. When the baking sheet is full of pretty, chocolatey, sprinkled cookies, place it in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour.

*At this point, Martha suggests removing the bowl from the heat. I didn’t read this part, and instead opted to wrap a dishtowel around my hand and try to steady the bowl as I dipped the first cookie. The burner was still lit, and, predictably, the dishtowel caught on fire. I suggest that you don’t do this, especially if the dishtowel isn’t yours.

I enjoyed these cookies, and I think they went over pretty well at the party. I’ll probably make them again, if for no other reason than to get a photo of a cookie that I didn’t fingerprint!