Growing up, the Christmas cookie baking was not complete without a quadruple batch of Nicholas Brownies—a brownie with a layer of creme de menthe-infused buttercream, and and then another layer of chocolate. I’ve never bothered with them myself…now in hindsight, they were a little dry and a tad fussy. But yeeesh, there’s something so festive about chocolate and mint. After Eights, anyone?
Last week as I scrambled to make a list of fun cookies for our party, I took to Pinterest in search of something that might be a cookie twist on those Nicholas Brownies. And that’s when I came across this recipe for Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies. Bonus points for the kiss in the middle, just like Stephanie’s Peanut Butter Blossoms! I made a couple of modifications, and today, as I made another batch with dough I froze, I put some of Stephanie’s detail-oriented techniques into practice (let the cookie hug the kiss, weighing out .7 ounce portions, the lightweight bowl for dusting the sugar). These turned out chewy and just the right amount of minty. I’m pretty sure this one’s a keeper, but like the Nicholas Brownies, will be reserved for a once-a-year engagement.
Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies (adapted from Food.com), makes 4 dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup of butter (one stick), room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup of crushed candy canes*
48 plain Hershey kisses, chilled (but not frozen)
*these may be hard to find, but you might try chopping some candy canes with a big sharp knife. Otherwise, you can substitute some mint chocolate chips or just leave out…I doubt it makes that much of a difference.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs and extracts and beat another minute.
Gradually add in the flour mixture to the mixing bowl. Stir in the crushed candy canes (if using). Then chill the dough for about two hours.
Heat the oven to 350. Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet (make sure it’s cool!) with parchment paper. If you have a scale, measure out a 5/8-oz. ball of dough, or one that’s about 1-inch in diameter. Feel free to keep measuring, or just eye it. Set on a plate.
Once you have a dozen, pour some powdered sugar in a lightweight bowl. Kid cereal bowls come in very handy for this purpose. One at a time, let the dough toss itself around in the sugar with the help of some rotating wrist action (as the blurry shot above illustrates). Don’t worry if it looks like too much sugar on the dough…these will show it off nicely once the cookies bake and crinkle. Set on the cookie sheet and repeat.
Once the cookies are in the oven, set the timer for 11 minutes and start unwrapping your kisses. Once the cookies are done, press in a kiss into each cookie…make sure you’re firm so the cookie hugs the kiss, as Stephanie says.
A few minutes later, you can move them to a cooling rack.