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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Double Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies

When we lived in Minnesota, I LOVED going to the grocery store. Not just because I love grocery shopping, but also because I would treat myself at the check-out line. I'd grab an individual piece of candy (if at Kowalski's: it was a sea salt caramel, or if at Byerly's: it was a chocolate, pecan, caramel thing) and savor it when I got in the car. I never kept candy in the house so the grocery store was the only time I'd indulge. In fact, the candy was so traditional, that the one time I did not get a piece of candy, I was stopped by a police officer for speeding. Gasp! (In my defense, we had just moved into the neighborhood and I had no idea what the speed limit was. No no, that's not an excuse but it does play some relevance to the situation. It was my first ticket in years and I was not going very fast but I was crossing over an uphill bridge that apparently was 30 mph because I was in a residential area. Ooops. But I must put partial blame on Ron for this incident. I had asked him to grab me my candy as I ran elsewhere to finish another task. Apparently, the noob thought it was wise to buy his own piece of candy, never offering to share it and I was left without any candy, and I might have been upset about this and probably yelling about the fact that I had never left the Highland Park Lunds without a piece of Lunds chocolate.)

Nowadays, I've kicked it up a notch. Anytime I am at the Metropolitan Market, I leave with several dark chocolate miniature mint patties. Like my favorites from Minnesota, these candies are locally made and just delicious. I just can't get enough of them. I go on and off with my love for mint and mocha but when it is here, it is in full swing. As a kid, I always turned to Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream at the ice cream shop. I've been obsessed with Junior Mints ever since Kramer knocked one into that person's body cavity during that episode of Seinfeld where him and Jerry watch a surgery. I share my mom's love of York Peppermint Patties. I often indulge in peppermint hot chocolate. So when I first tried these mints after moving to Seattle, I was instantly hooked. And I have to leave with several because I don't have a car on most days. In Minnesota, I used to find reasons to go the grocery store "for groceries" just so I could get my candy. Now, I don't have that luxury as the grocery store is a 2 mile walk up a steep hill. Not terrible but also not pleasant in a downpour. Thankfully, I exercise restraint when it comes to the mints when they are in the house. They have a special place in the pantry.

On our recent trip back to Seattle, I picked up a copy of Every Day with Rachael Ray for reading pleasure on the plane. It's not very often that I find a recipe that appeals to me so much that I simply must make it as soon as I see it. But that's pretty much how I felt with these mint cookies. I had been craving thin mints and knew that this cookie would be off the hook! I decided against using my locally made peppermint patties. Reason being, they are a bit bigger than typically miniature York patties and they also cost about $.69 a piece! I cut the recipe in half to make 12 cookies but felt the York would work better here because it was an appropriate size. And they did. These cookies are the best cookies I've ever made. And that's saying something because I've made a buttload of cookies in the past several years. They are soft, chocolately, fudgey, minty, and incredible. If you like the chocolate and mint combination, you absolutely must try these! The recipe takes some planning because it needs to be chilled. The chocolates need to be chilled as well. I found that it worked best to press out the dough and have a helper stand near the fridge to take out a piece of chocolate one at a time.
Thanks, Mom and Dad for the external flash! I've been slowly learning how to take pictures with my new DSLR camera. The flash comes in handy during late night photo sessions!
Double Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies
from Every Day with Rachael Ray
Yield: about 24 delicious cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 stick (6 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 egg
  • 24 miniature (about 1 1/2 inch) peppermint patties, such as York, unwrapped and chilled
  • 6 oz. white chocolate (not chips), chopped (Note: I used chips here. Take that!)
  • peppermint candy canes, crushed, optional (I did not use these.)
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the flour, cocoa powder, both sugars, salt and baking soda on low speed. Beat in the butter, then the egg. Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk; seal. Refrigerates until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment. Working with 1 Tbsp of dough at a time, use your fingers to evenly encase each peppermint patty with dough. Place on the prepared pans and smooth the dough with your fingers. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until just firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer the cookies on the parchment to a rack to cool completely.
  3. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled cookies. If using, immediately sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies over the cookies. Let set completely before serving or storing.

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