I´m finallyjoining the Chocolate Party this month. The secret ingredient is mint, not hardto guess; it´s a combination I find incredibly flavorful andversatile. Not to mention its undeniable holiday spirit. This littleblog had already gotten into the minty spirit with these chocolate mint cookiesand white chocolate tea cake. Both amazing, amazing, amazing.
At the timeI made the above mentioned cookies, which have dark chocolate in them, I hadstarted with a different idea. The one that I finally pulled off today. A basicchocolate chip cookie with almonds, mint and white chocolate chunks. At thattime all I baked was a very greasy cookie, that spread horribly and had youscreaming `where´s the mint?´.
So my headwas made up about this month´s recipe. It had to be a great version of theoriginal one. As I find myself doing a lot lately, I went to the sources andbegan with the traditional chocolate chip cookie.
When youstart with a good recipe it´s not hard to come up with a great variation. Onethat will appeal to everyone and will make great holiday gifts. So a luckyfriend is getting cookies from me. Something I intend to make every year, youknow homemade gifts, but hasn´t happened for a long time.
I´m not acookie person as I told you in this post. But there are details I think make agood cookie even better. Chocolate chunks instead of chips for starters. Idon´t think it even deserves a debate. Chunks trump chips every time.
Then wehave to consider the nuts. As much as I like walnuts coarsely chopped, I likealmonds to be left whole. And toasted. It´s a whole different flavor withtoasted nuts, no matter which ones you use. So the second point is made.
Third, themint flavor. I really, really, really wanted to use only fresh mint, but itdidn´t come through. I had a feeling it would when I remembered that this cakehad no mint flavor going into the oven, but in these cookies it didn´t happen.So I had to add mint extract. A tiny bit, but absolutely necessary.
So, all ofthat said, and at the risk of sounding a bit bitchy, since I hardly ever eatcookies, so what do I know right? The details make a cookie. But then again,the details make any baked thing go from good to great.
If you want to join us for a Chocolate Party every month, go to Roxana´s blog and learn more about it. She has some hard to resist baked goodies.
WHITE CHOCO MINT ALMOND COOKIES
adaptedfrom this Betty Crocker Cookbook
These cookies don´t spread much. The yieldgiven is for medium cookies.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
1 cup(225g) unsalted butter, at room tº
¼ cupchopped fresh mint, packed
¾ cup(150g) sugar
½ cup(100g) firmly packed brown sugar
½ cupalmond meal (or finely ground almonds)
2 ¼ cups(315g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoonbaking soda
½ teaspoonmint extract
1 cup whitechocolate chunks
1 cup wholealmonds, toasted
Preheatoven to 350º. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or silpat.
In a largebowl mix butter with fresh mint. Add both sugars and mix well. Add almond mealand egg. Mix well.
Add flour,baking soda and salt and mix until it´s thoroughly combined. Add almonds, mintextract and chocolate chunks. Mix well.
Droprounded tablespoons onto baking tray and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Cool onwire rack.