Saturday, October 23, 2010

Disappearing "Mint" Chocolate Cookies


Disappearing "Mint" Chocolate Cookies

Wet ingredients:
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon flax seeds
3 tbsp. vegetable canola oil
3 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Crème de Menthe liqueur

Dry Ingredients:
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Tollhouse Brand)
1 cup all purpose flour, unbleached
1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt (I used kosher)
¾ cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips which I believe contain milk products but if you chose your chips carefully, this would easily be a vegan recipe)

Cookie Topping:
Approximately 1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a small pot, bring 3/4 cup water and the flax seeds to a boil. Boil rapidly for two minutes. Strain out flax seeds with a fine mesh strainer and allow remaining "flax seed goo" to cool.
Meanwhile, combine all the dry ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) in a separate bowl; stir with a whisk to combine.

Once the flax seed goo is cool, combine the flax seed goo with the remaining "wet ingredients". Stir well with a whisk to combine.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients all at once; gently stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until nearly all the flour is incorporated.  Add in the chocolate chips; stir in the chips.  Flour should no longer be visible. 

Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight if desired.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line baking sheets with aluminum foil (sprayed with non-cooking spray) or parchment paper.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls (walnut-sized).  Roll balls in powdered sugar, coating well. Place balls on prepared baking sheets; cookies should be spaced approximately two inches apart. Using your fingers, gently flatten each cookie. Bake cookies for 9 to 11 minutes or until nearly set.  Remove foil/parchment paper with cookies onto counter top and allow to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies. (Note:  I made my cookies a little larger than described above and ended up with 32 cookies).
I mentioned the new French Bakery in town a few weeks back.  In their pastry display, I noticed some rich, delicious looking Chocolate Espresso Cookies.  I was inspired.  This past Monday, I set out to make a healthy version. While searching for my instant coffee granules, I stumbled across a bottle of Creme de Menthe (alcohol/liqueur) I had bought for another recipe.  It was a Martha Stewart recipe for a Grasshopper Cake.  A chocolate sheet cake with a pale green fluffy, minty frosting. True to form for Martha, she took little rectangular-shaped Andes Brand Mints, shaved off the corners so the mints resembled football-shapes, and then she piped on little laces with white frosting so the mints really looked like footballs... it really was a good thing. I saw this recipe on around Super Bowl Sunday.  Click HERE for the link to Martha's cake recipe; you've just got to see it for yourself.   Anyhow, Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone... I never made the cake... and there sat my unopened bottle of Creme de Menthe.

I took a detour.  Instead of making Chocolate Espresso Cookies, I set out to make Chocolate Mint Cookies.  I was watching Ina Garten on the Food Network the other day (I love Ina Garten).  She was talking about how adding a slight amount of coffee flavor to anything chocolate really brings out the chocolate flavor (but you don't taste the coffee one bit).  Ina was quite experimental and she made two different versions of the same recipe... one with coffee and one with out. When she conducted taste tests, folks always selected with version with the addition of coffee.  You'll notice in my recipe above, I added both Creme de Menthe and the instant coffee granules, hoping the coffee would enhance the chocolate.

I made this cookie dough way back on Monday and (since it's been such a busy week) I did not bake off the cookies until today (Saturday).  The end result... fantastic cookies that taste much like brownies!  You do not taste the coffee, but to my surprise, you also do not taste mint whatsoever.  I was very surprised by that.  This recipe will be a work in progress for me.  Next time around, I might replace the Creme de Menthe with an equal amount of agave nectar. If you don't have any Creme de Menthe on hand, that might be a substitution which would appeal to you.  I also think toasted, chopped walnuts would be great in these brownie-like cookies.  Official taste test:  Husband hovered over the warm "experimental" cookies and insisted I try one first.  I did not "gag" so he tried one and remarked they taste just like brownies.  He sat down to watch football on TV and asked me to bring him some more.  As for me, I can't wait to have a cookie in the morning with a hot cup of coffee. 
I love the crackled appearance of these cookies...
the contrast between the bright white sugar & the dark rich chocolate.


Anonymous said...

They look delicious. Such a nice fall cookie. Thank you for sharing your fun and yummy recipes. Harriet

affectioknit said...

Those look AWESOME! I love chocolate and mint together!