Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies – Recipe

Zachary is the baker in our house. He’s more often to use the mixer and the recipes that call for flour, baking powder, vanilla. I prefer cooking that doesn’t require precise measurements for success.

However, I’ve been doing more baking this season. Maybe I feel a little closer to my mom when I do that, as I have fond memories of her making dozens and dozens of cookies each Christmas.

I like trying new recipes (I didn’t really like all of the cookies my mom made, like Russian Tea Cakes, which, to me, tasted like barely sweetened play-doh – sorry, Mom! – so I don’t feel the need to repeat every one she offered), and I came across this one in a magazine. The only thing I like better than chocolate mixed with peanut butter is chocolate mixed with mint.

One note: The dough ends up VERY thick. Our awesome KitchenAid stand mixer couldn’t even mix it toward the end, I had to finish up by jabbing at the dough with a wooden spoon. I realized just now as I was retyping the recipe that I included 1 1/2 cups of cocoa instead of 1 1/3 cups. And I think I also made the filling wrong – I think I stopped, for some reason, after adding the first 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Which is totally not surprising, and evidence of why I don’t bake more often. So though I was going to warn you that a regular hand mixer may not work out for you, nor mixing entirely by hand, if you follow the recipe better than I did, you’ll probably have better success. And your filling will likely be denser, though I happened to like the filling as I made it, thankyouverymuch.

There weren’t any left after our holiday gathering yesterday, either, always a good measure of how well they turned out, I’d like to think, even though I screwed up. The recipe said it would make 24 cookies, but I must have used much smaller cookie cutters than they did because I think we ended up with nearly 60, and there was filling leftover.

Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies
(
From December 2010 Better Homes and gardens)

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
Peppermint Cream Filling (see below)

In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt; set aside.

In a very large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours for until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Fill cookies with Peppermint Cream Filling. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.

Peppermint Cream Filling

1 cup softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp peppermint extract
5 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 tbsp milk
Green food coloring

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until fluffy. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts. Beat in 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Beat in 2 tbsp milk. Beat in another 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar until smooth. Tint with green food coloring, if desired. If necessary, beat in additional milk to make spreading consistency. Makes about 2 2/3 cups.

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