dark chocolate mint cookies

Despite my general lack of a sweet tooth, I do have some weaknesses. And one of them happens to be After Eight dinner mints.

When I first started dating the LAM, I always had a box of these mints in my fridge. He used to laugh at me for eating toothpaste. So I guess it is pretty obvious he does not like mint as much as I do.

In fact, there is something about dark chocolate and mint that does me in. I think it is a fantastic combination, and although as far as I am concerned, nothing can be too minty, I managed to not over power these cookies by adding a tablespoon of mint extract, instead of a mere two teaspoons of it.
These are chewy cookies, so if you are are fan of the crunchy-type of cookies, then please do not make them. But! If you prefer the softer, chewy type of cookies, then do run out (NOW!) and buy some mint extract! I guess if you do not like mint (Whyever not?!?!) but still love chewy dark chocolate cookies, then substitute the mint extract with vanilla extract, and you are still good to go.
I was out for lunch with a few friends who also happened to be mom bloggers last week, and I brought them a box of cookies each.
So both Regina from MummyMoo, and Jennifer from Dinomama used the cookies to bribe their kids. And Adeline from TheAccidentalMomBlogger, well, I think she told her family the cookies were unsuitable for them and proceeded to eat all the cookies herself, and then featured them on her WordlessWednesday post. Well, did I not tell you these cookies are really good? 😛 

To start, I creamed butter and sugar together until they turned light and fluffy.
I sifted the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl and used a hand whisk to combine them. This is important because biting into a cookie that contains most of the salt from the recipe can be pretty unpleasant.
Here, I digress a little to talk about the difference between Dutch-processed cocoa and natural cocoa. According to the chocolate guru, David Labovitz
“Dutch-process cocoa powder is made from cocoa (cacao) beans that have been washed with a potassium solution, to neutralize their acidity. Natural cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that are simply roasted, then pulverized into a fine powder. Aside from neutralizing the acidity, Dutching cocoa powder makes it darker and can help mellow the flavor of the beans. Because natural cocoa powder hasn’t had its acidity tempered, it’s generally paired with baking soda (which is alkali) in recipes. 
Dutch-process cocoa is frequently used in recipes with baking powder, as it does not react to baking soda like natural cocoa does. You can substitute natural cocoa powder for Dutch-process in most recipes (though not vice versa). Flavor and texture can be affected, but generally only in recipes calling for 3/4 cup (75 g) or more. However when a batter-based recipe calls for natural cocoa powder, do not use Dutch-process cocoa powder.”
Geddit? 🙂
Anyway, let us continue with my recipe.
Once the batter had turned light and fluffy, I added the eggs, one at a time, and beat the eggs until they were thoroughly mixed into the batter.
I also added a teaspoon of the mint extract. If you like your cookies really minty, then add a little more mint extract.
The flour/cocoa mixture was then added in 3 parts.

And finally, the chocolate chips were added and I used the pulse function on my mixer to incorporate them into the batter.
A lot of times, when you read a cookie recipe, you will find that the instructions will tell you to proceed to dish out and bake the cookies. I say a big no no to that.
Well, it is important to let the dough chill in the fridge for about an hour or so (sometimes I leave the dough in the fridge overnight). Chilling permits the gluten strands in the flour to relax, avoiding a “rubbery” consistency in the final product. The elapsed time may also permit the flour to absorb more of the moisture in the dough, so the cookies do not spread out so much when baking.
After at least an hour, I formed the dough into 1-inch balls, and placed them on a lined baking tray. 
Using my fingers I pressed the dough slightly to flatten them before I baked them.
And merely 9 minutes later, you could be biting into a hot, but super delicious cookie.

RECIPE

Dark Chocolate Mint Cookies (Makes 36)
Ingredients:
225g butter, softened
1¾ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp peppermint extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips 
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 170C. 
2. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs and peppermint extract. 
4. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add this to batter in 3 parts and beat until well blended. 
5. Stir in chocolate chips. 
6. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place on prepared baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly.
7. Bake cookies until edges begin to firm but center still appears soft, about 9 minutes. 10. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. 
11.Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.




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