OK, y’all. Somebody’s gotta be jokin’ me. As some of you already know, earlier this week Two Red Bowls was named a finalist for Best New Blog in Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog Awards. (I may or may not have had to stop typing at least three times in the last sentence to breathe shallowly into a paper bag.) If you feel like voting for me, you can here until April 9th, but with the happy news we already had earlier this month, being a finalist has already surpassed all my wildest dreams. My cup runneth seriously over, you guys. I can’t express how thankful and overwhelmed and gratified I am at all your warm wishes on our engagement and this crazy surprise too. If I think about it too much I get wibbly. Thank you.
So, that said, I would much rather focus on these dark chocolate gems. Ever since I saw these babies on Not Without Salt last week, I’ve been taken with the idea of fresh mint and chocolate together. I actually have a comically low tolerance for mint things (um, bubblegum toothpaste, anyone?) so the idea of a gentler, sweeter mint-chocolate pairing was music to my ears. And they came out phenomenally. There’s a bit of fresh mint chopped up in the cookie dough itself, and one delicate candied mint leaf to top it off, resulting in a mint flavor that whispers rather than yells — a spring breeze instead of winter gales. (Any day now, New York. Any day you feel like it.) The cookie base is a recipe adapted from Call Me Cupcake and How Sweet It Is, and it’s the perfect texture, crisp on the edges but silky smooth in the center, with just a bit of chew. I think you should make ’em. Enjoy!
yields about 10-12 medium cookies or 16-18 small ones.
- for the cookie dough:
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
- 2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped very finely (more for a stronger mint flavor; you can also add a few drops of peppermint extract)
- for the candied mint leaves:
- about 12-18 leaves, depending (less if you're making larger cookies, more if you're making smaller)
- 1 egg white
- 2-3 tbsp superfine white sugar
- In a large bowl, melt the chocolate chips and butter. You can do this in a double boiler, but most of the time I just opt for microwaving the mixture, 20-30 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until smooth and liquid. Let cool briefly.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- Combine the sugar and eggs and beat vigorously, either by hand or with an electric beater, until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in vanilla extract, the chopped mint leaves, and the chocolate-butter mixture and beat again until combined.
- Finally, fold in the dry ingredients and the remaining chocolate chips. Set the dough aside and let cool. You can refrigerate it if you like, but I found that these were fine without chilling the dough.
- Meanwhile, make the candied mint leaves. Lay leaves flat on a paper towel. Whisk the egg white and brush it lightly overtop the leaves, then dust with sugar and let dry.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop a tablespoon of dough at a time and roll into small balls, placing them about 3 inches apart on a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until edges are set but centers are still soft.
- Let cool briefly, then press mint leaves into the centers of the cookies. You can brush the center of the cookie with a bit of the extra egg white if you like before pressing the leaf on, but it's not necessary. Enjoy!
I generally like to test one cookie in the oven before baking the rest of the batch -- my oven is finicky and I often have problems with my cookies not spreading, so my instructions may yield a flatter cookie for you. If that's the case, refrigerate the dough for a good amount of time (at least 30 minutes and up to 3-4 hours or even overnight) before baking and you should get less spread.