T'was the night before bake day and all through the kitchen eggs and butter were set on the counter, flour canisters, sugar jars, and baking spices were lined up, and Grandma's recipes and dog-eared cookbooks laid open on the kitchen table. The work week is over, the house is scrubbed from attic to wine cellar and Mimi is too excited to sleep and too exhausted to stay up another minute. "Hush now," whispers the quiet old lady, "time to sleep and dream of Pepperminty Chocolate Cookies."
As sleep settles in the darkened room the idea of adding Ghirardelli chocolate chips... floats dreamily... from one ear to the other...
These dark chocolate sandwich cookies are soft and minty with Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips added for an extra hit of chocolate. I also add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder because it ramps up the chocolate flavor in the most delightful way and pack the mint into both the cookie and the sweet filling. The cookies are small but between the chocolate and the mint they are packed with flavor.
These little sandwich cookies can easily play a co-staring role with the decorated cookies on your Christmas cookie platter. But watch out! They just might steal the show. There is nothing tricky about them, making them a perfect choice for those busy days right before Christmas. But why make them just for Christmas? Why not add them to your Valentine repertoire? And Easter basket? And as a BBQ side to ice cream?
Pepperminty Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate Mint Cookie
¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon espresso powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons half & half*
*Substitute the liquid of your choice, if, desired, adding just enough to make a spreadable filling.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter and sugars. Add the egg and beat well. With a rubber spatula scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the peppermint and mix well.
Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix on low speed just until mixed. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix the cookie dough just enough to incorporate the remaining streaks of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Let the cookie dough rest in the refrigerator 45 - 60 minutes. While cookie dough is chilling preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
Use a small cookie scoop to form ½ ounce balls. Space them 1½ to 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 8 - 10 minutes. Check the cookies carefully for done-ness. Because of their darkness it is difficult to determine their done-ness. Watch them carefully. Set the cookie sheet on wire cooling racks for 2 minutes before carefully lifting them off baking sheet to cooling racks. Bake the remainder of the cookies. Let them cool completely before filling with mint filling.
To make the filling stir together the powdered sugar and soft butter until thoroughly combined. Add the half & half, stirring to make a spreadable filling. If the filling is too thick then add more half & half a scant ⅛ teaspoon at a time. If the filling is too thin then add powdered sugar ½ teaspoon at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Assemble cookies by spreading filling on the flat side of half of the cookies; top with the remaining cookies.
Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.