You know those lovely minty after dinner chocolates some people serve? Jennifer Donoghue from Honest Cooking decided to try and make them at home, with great success.
In Australia we have a cookie called Mint Slice and it's absolutely delicious. It's a chocolate cookie topped with a mint cream which is then smothered in dark chocolate. From what I've been told it's similar to the Thin Mint Cookies that the U.S. Girl Scouts sell.
Mint Slice is one of my fiance's all time favorite biscuits, so I wanted to try my hand at creating my own version for him. I started with a crunchy chocolate cookie base. One of the great things about a mint slice is the combination of textures. The base is crunchy, then it has a creamy middle and chocolate coating. So with the base nailed down I decided to tackle the filling, and for this I went with a simple combination of icing sugar and peppermint flavoring oil.
The peppermint icing was spread over the top of the biscuit and left to set. Once set the whole cookie was dipped in a bowl of melted dark chocolate and left to set. The only thing that didn't go according to plan was the fact that I happened to pick two especially humid days in Brisbane to make and photograph my creations. Melting chocolate aside, my cookies taste pretty close to the real thing.
While I'll admit making your own chocolate mint cookies at home is a little fiddly, the great thing about it, apart from knowing every single ingredient that goes into making it, is the fact you can increase or decrease the intensity of the peppermint to meet your tastes. You could even substitute the peppermint flavoring for another flavoring essence.
Chocolate Coated Peppermint Cream Cookies
Recipe type: Sweet
100g of butter, cut into cubes
135g of plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
20g of cocoa
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 egg yolk
250g of icing sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp of peppermint essence
2 tbsp of hot water
400g of 70 percent cocoa chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1.Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare two baking trays by lining them with baking paper.
2.To make the cookies, combine the butter, sugar and egg yolk in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until well combined. Add the flour and cocoa and process until it starts to come together in a ball.
3.Remove the dough from the food processor and divide into two and flatten into a disc and wrap each disc in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.
4.Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator and roll out between two sheets of baking paper until approximately 1/4 inch thick. Using a small circular cookie cutter, cut circles from the dough and place onto the prepared baking tray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Roll out the second disc of dough while the first is baking and then bake that when the first tray is done.
5.Leave the cookies to cool on the tray until firm and then place on a wire wrack to cool.
6.Once the cookies are cooled make the peppermint cream. Combine the icing sugar, peppermint essence and hot water until it makes a smooth spreadable paste.
7.Spread the icing mixture onto the cookies and leave to set.
8.Once the icing has set, place a sheet of baking paper until the wire rack to catch any chocolate drips. Melt the chocolate over a pot of simmering water and once melted remove from the heat. Dip each cookie in the chocolate and return to the wire wrack to set.
You may need to use more or less peppermint essence depending on the brand you use so use sparingly at first and taste before deciding whether to add more. The last thing you want is for your cookies to taste like toothpaste!
Follow Honest Cooking on Twitter: www.twitter.com/honestcooking