It’s officially Holiday Season. Time to focus on family, friends, giving of yourself, and creating memories. Andes Creme de Menthe Chocolate Mint Cookies make an irresistible edible gift that no one will want to return.
We all have different traditions and ideas of what makes this season special. Some prepare a ceremonial meal each Christmas Eve. Others have a candle light walk through the neighborhood. Some trudge through the snow each year to cut a fresh tree, others hide an Elf on the Shelf. Some leave their shoes out to be blessed on December 6th, others make potato latkes and brisket. I love hearing what different families do around the holidays.
There are several things we do each year that have my kids brimming with anticipation. I (try) to live my life by a less-is-more philosophy, so our holiday traditions may not be as elaborate as others, but they are special to us…
- To start off the holiday season we always visit the National Gingerbread Competition held each year at the Grove Park Inn here in Asheville. The artistry and intricate details of the elaborate creations are a sight to behold. Competitors start working on their entries months in advance.
- We hang advent calendars and fill them with tiny trinkets that make the kids pop out of bed each morning faster than a jackrabbit.
- We make cookies…Not just a few cookies, but dozens and dozens of cookies to share with friends and neighbors. Our few days of outlandish cookie production allows us to offer a delicious token to our loved ones, to let them know just how much they mean to us. This is a tradition I remember vividly as a child, and I hope my children will treasure “making cookies with mommy” with as much tenderness as I do.
- We hide a glass pickle ornament on our Christmas tree each year. On Christmas Eve, we all open a pair of new jammies. We come down stairs dressed in our snuggle-y attire and sit down to read the Christmas story. Then we let the kids hunt for the hidden pickle on the tree. Being green, it’s hard to find. The person who finds the pickle gets to open a bonus gift that night, a game that we will all sit down and play together before bed.
To make cookie baking day(s) extra special, we always make a few favorites from previous years, then create a few new varieties to test on our friends.
As I’ve recently discovered Andes Mint Chips, Chocolate Mint Cookies were high priority. I love the old tradition of handing our friends a tin loaded with treats of various colors, shapes, and flavors. The Chocolate Mint Cookies offer serious visual appeal, as well as addictive mint chips.
Chocolate Mint Cookies (Andes Cookies)
Yield: 40 cookies
Prep Time:1 hour 50 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups AP flour + 3 Tb. divided
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup Andes Creme de Menthe chips
1/8 tsp. mint extract
1 drop green food coloring
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy--3-5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
Sift 2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt together, slowly add to the butter mixture until well combined.
Divide the dough into thirds, leaving 1/3 in the mixing bowl. Add the mint extract, 1 drop of green food coloring and 2-3 Tb. of extra flour to the dough and mix well.
Form the green dough into a flat rectangle and wrap well. Place in the fridge.
Place the remaining 2/3 dough back in the mixing bowl. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined; stir in the mint chips.
Wrap the dough and refrigerate both doughs for at least an hour.
On a floured piece of wax paper, roll the chocolate dough into a 14 X 5 inch rectangle, about an 1/8 inch thick.
On another piece of wax paper, roll the green dough into a 14 X 4 inch rectangle and place over the top of the chocolate dough leaving a 1 inch border on one side.
Carefully roll the dough toward the end with the chocolate border. You may want to cut the dough in half to make this easier.
Once rolled press the roll down on the end to seal. Pinch any cracks together. Wrap the log(s) in the wax paper and place back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven t0 375 degrees F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the dough log and slice into 1/3 inch pieces.
Spread 2 inches apart on the baking sheets and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the sheets before transferring.
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