So, as I was saying, Christmas 2011 is crying out for some new sweet treats, and I’m endeavoring to deliver. My first pitch was a peanut butter filled chocolate cookie, and though it had something of a utilitarian, PTA-meeting vibe to me, what it lacked in flash it more than covered for in tastiness. I had admittedly baked with skepticism, but I snacked with gusto.
As a counterweight to that, I selected a chocolate mint sandwich cookie which brought new meaning to the idea of multi-step baking. No step was difficult, but the devil was definitely in the details. Dried fruit needed to be chopped, dough needed to be chilled, rolled, and cut into identical squares. Chocolates were unwrapped and two different types melted–individually! There was baking and sandwiching and icing and drizzling. And finally, there was a house full of amazing, minty, chocolatey smells and a plate full of pretty cookies. They sure looked fancy; they tasted great. But I was so tired that all I really wanted to do was curl up under a blanket with a hot mug of coffee and a couple more of the peanut butter filled ones.
Chocolate Mint Cookie Sandwiches
adapted from 1 Dough, 100 Cookies
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped *
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
15 after-dinner mints**
4 oz semisweet chocolate pieces
2 oz white chocolate pieces ***
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cranberry pieces, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar, then add egg yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Divide dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for one hour.
Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
Roll out and cut each piece of dough into 15 2.5″ squares (for a total of 30). I made 1.5″ squares and simply ended up with quite a few additional cookies. Bake each sheet for about 10 minutes (until cookies are firm). As soon as you remove them from the oven, top half the squares with a mint and cover with remaining cookies, pressing lightly. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Your kitchen will now smell amazing, attracting the attention of family members and pets, so monitor your cookies with care!
When cookies have cooled, melt the semisweet chocolate pieces in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Allow to cool and drizzle over the sandwiches. Once the semisweet chocolate has set, repeat the process with the white chocolate. Enjoy the fancy sweets.
*I tossed these two ingredients in my small food processor and whirled them around for a minute. It made quick work of the chopping, and the powder kept the dried fruit pieces from sticking together in a clump.
**I used Andes chocolate mints, but made smaller cookies so I broke 28 of them in half. The left over pieces I just tossed in with the semisweet chocolate when I melted it for the glaze.
***My white chocolate was very dry when melted. A small amount of vegetable oil thinned it to a drizzle-able consistency.