Monday, February 4, 2013

Chocolate-Mint (Grasshopper) Cookies {Recipe}

There are two flavor combinations that are my go-to comfort foods... Chocolate and Peanut Butter, and this, Chocolate and Mint. If you ever see me buying a Peppermint Patty in line at the grocery store, go ahead and give me a hug. I probably need it.

What You Need:
For the Cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar
4 oz. melted chocolate*
1 large or extra large egg (at room temperature)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. white vinegar

For the Filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (at room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. Creme de Menthe (available in the liquor store/section)

*I recommend semisweet or milk chocolate (depending on your taste). When I used unsweetened chocolate, the cookies tasted a little bitter to me, although some of my taste-testers thought they were good. I liked the less-bitter variety best.

Make The Cookies

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until it's well-mixed and fluffy.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave. (I use 30% power, starting at about 3 minutes.)
Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture. Mix until completely combined.

Add the egg, vanilla and vinegar. Mix well again.

Slowly add the flour mixture, and mix on the lowest speed until all of the flour is incorporated. (Try not to overmix. The cookies are the most flaky and tender if you mix them as little as possible.)

Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Knead gently until it's all in one piece of dough.

Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to an hour.

On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll the dough out to about 1/4" thick (about the thickness of a pencil).

For best results, you want to cover and refrigerate this dough again for about an hour. This allows the cookies to set up even better, and spread even less. If you want to skip the second refrigeration, you can, but the dough is really soft, so I find that my shapes break a lot easier when I'm trying to transfer them from paper to baking pan.

When you are ready to bake them, remove the rolled dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350-degrees (F). Cut out your shapes, and place them an inch or so apart on a cookie sheet. (I use parchment paper on all of my cookie sheets to help keep them from sticking at all.)

Do Not Skip This Step!
Place your tray of cut-out cookies into the freezer for 10-15 minutes BEFORE placing them in the oven. This is what really seals the deal to keep them from spreading too much.

Bake the cookies at 350 for 8-10 minutes. With these, aim to underbake them at first, because they're so dark, you can't tell when they start to get too crisp, and if they're too crisp, they are probably a little overbaked.
Remove the cookies to a cooling rack.

Make The Filling:

Cream together the butter and powdered sugar.
Add the Creme de Menthe, and a tsp or so of water, if you need it. (But you want to keep this filling rather stiff so that it doesn't squirt out the sides too much.)

Assemble the cookies:

Spread about a Tablespoon or so of icing on top of one cookie, sandwich with another cookie.
Wipe the sides even with the back of your spatula or knife, if you wish.


*Another option is to use My Strawberry Filling Recipe. Those are super yummy, too.

Click the Links Below to See:
Chocolate Cookie Recipe 
Chocolate-Strawberry Sandwich Cookies
Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe

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