Baked Sunday Mornings: Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookies

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This is my 100th blog post for Stellina Sweets, which is just about to turn 2 years old! Truth be told, I was a little disappointed that this recipe would be my “epic” 100th post– I am not a peppermint person, so I was not especially excited for this one, although the alleged chocolate decadence was definitely an alluring feature. (I was hoping to have my act together enough to finish one of my Italy honeymoon posts… but that would be just a little too productive for me.) These Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookies from the Chocolate chapter of Baked Elements are described in the book as something of a dessert “event”. They are not the kind of cookie that one would generally grab for a casual snack; rather, they are to be lingered upon and savored with one’s eyes closed. Yes, they are that dark and rich. I wholeheartedly approve. 😀 Incidentally, these cookies are just perfect for December. We are making them now on an accelerated baking schedule ahead of the October 7th release of BAKED‘s fourth book, Baked Occasions, from which we will start baking in November!

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Since I don’t care for peppermint, I considered leaving it out, but the recipe says that the peppermint is necessary to take the edge off of the richness of the chocolate– again, I can definitely get behind that kind of cookie! Surprisingly, I actually didn’t mind the mint. I didn’t have any precut chocolate chunks on hand, so I chopped some Guittard 55% “La Nuit Noire” chocolate couverture wafers. The recipe actually doesn’t specify if the chocolate should be semisweet or dark, so I figured that I couldn’t go wrong with a middle-of-the-road 55%, especially since the cookie dough itself sounded like it would be daaaark, and I didn’t want to overdo it. (I know, wha?!)

The dough is extremely easy to make. After combining the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chunks in a bowl, you will then whisk together the egg white, corn syrup (a whopping ½ cup– ugh), and vanilla and peppermint extracts. I was a little alarmed that my egg white seemed to “scramble” into tiny white wisps as soon as I started whisking. I’m not sure why, as there was no heat– maybe the alcohol in the peppermint had some effect? I have no idea, but it incorporated into the creamed butter and brown sugar just fine, so I didn’t worry about it.

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After adding the egg white/peppermint mixture, you add the dry ingredients all at once and mix just until incorporated– voilà, that’s it. Make sure to scrape not only the sides of your mixer bowl, but also the bottom, to make sure the chocolate is evenly distributed.

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The recipe says that the cookie dough needs to chill for 24 hours. However, after 11 hours in the fridge, the dough was quite solid, so I figured it would be fine to proceed. The dough gets shaped into balls and rolled in granulated sugar. By the time I was ready to put the first cookie sheet in the oven, the dough had softened considerably, so I placed it in the freezer to re-chill while I worked on the second batch. The first sheet was quite solid, and they did turn out a lot thicker in the center and crisper/flatter on the edges. I placed the second sheet in the fridge, and this batch baked up more evenly. I baked both sheets for 10 minutes, until they had wet cracks on top. When I opened the oven door, the cool mint wafted out along with the heat!

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The cookies were slightly underdone with gooey centers, though they firmed up to a nice chewy consistency after several hours. The mint simply had a clean edge, and I didn’t dislike it. And the chocolate– it did not disappoint!

In addition to the deep chocolate flavor and chewy texture, I also love the festive sparkle imparted by the white sugar! These cookies are perfect for a Christmas holiday party or cookie exchange. You can find the recipe for Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookies at Baked Sunday Mornings— see how my fellow BSMers liked these dark, decadent gems too! 🙂

UPDATE: After the first day, the cookies were so soft that they fell apart easily. (They also became more delicious– the mint even grew on me.) I probably should have baked them for about another minute. However, Robyn from the Planet Byn blog made a slight change to the dough shaping method, which I will definitely adopt if I make these again. I normally use the Momofuku Milk Bar method of portioning and then chilling cookie dough. I thought it would be a big ol’ mess to try rolling the soft dough, so I went with the recipe’s chill-then-roll method. This yielded some lumpy, uneven cookies. Robyn used the Milk Bar method, and her cookies were gorgeous and evenly baked. I would recommend the following: scoop the dough with a medium cookie scoop onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking pan, flatten the “domes”, sprinkle liberally with sugar, then put the pan in the fridge for several hours. I think that it’s not necessary to roll them into balls in order to produce round, pretty cookies. My favorite chocolate cookie is Milk Bar’s Chocolate Chocolate Cookies, which I adapted for my Salted S’mores Cookies last year. I’m curious to try that recipe with peppermint extract and touch less salt head-to-head with this recipe!

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© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2014.

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