Yeah sure, I love to bake all kinds of things like pie, and cake, or bread. All of that is great and I’m never going to stop exploring the baking world. But it has always come back to cookies for me. Cookies feel like my calling.
I feel like I am a fairly shy person. I don’t like to brag about myself much and I often feel uncomfortable when a lot of attention is directly on me. But my cookie baking and creating ability is the one thing that I feel okay bragging about. Because I can make some of the best damn cookies you’ve ever tasted. I’ve watched a lot people eat my cookies fresh out of the oven and proclaim that it was the best cookie they had ever eaten. I love that. I will brag about that. And it’s not even a humble brag. It’s a full out confident brag.
Remember when all of a sudden cupcakes became a thing? They still are. Cupcakes seem like they are everywhere these days. It’s like a cult following. And now it’s starting to move on to donuts. People are all like, “Donuuuuuuuts! OMG!”
I don’t know if cookies will ever have their time. Maybe they are just timeless and never really out of style. But I just can’t help but see all the potential with cookies and the flavor and texture combinations that are so fun to play with. So I am dedicating myself to do more of that. To push the boundaries of cookies and continue to create the best damn cookies ever. Maybe that should be the name of my cookie cookbook: “The Best Damn Cookies Ever.” Best seller, for sure.
I never loved the mint chocolate combination that much. I mean, if it’s put in front of me I will always eat it. It is chocolate after all. But it isn’t a flavor combination that I would usually pick. That is until I was encouraged the try this mint chocolate chip gelato recently that was made with fresh mint instead of mint extract. It was heavenly. And I realized it isn’t so much the mint chocolate combination that I didn’t like. It is more the slightly medicinal quality that mint extract always adds to things. But fresh mint eliminates all that and adds this delicate herbaceous note. It was just so lovely.
I knew I wanted to try to make a fresh mint chocolate chip cookie. I extracted all the amazing fresh mint flavor from the leaves by steeping them in the butter while I was browning it and letting it cool. These were a mega success. Perfectly chewy and filled with bittersweet chocolate morsels. And the background flavor of fresh mint that kicks in is surprising and herby and amazing.
One Year Ago:
No Bake Chocolate Covered Cherry Torte
Two Years Ago:
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- ½ TBSP vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp kosher salt (plus more for sprinkling)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips, divided (I used 60% ghirardelli)
- Chop the butter into small pieces and roughly chop the fresh mint. Place the butter and mint in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter, stirring continuously, with the mint until lightly browned. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes (you don’t want it to solidify, just to cool)
- Pour the butter through a fine sieve to remove the mint pieces. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to push on the mint and extract any juices back into the butter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and dark brown sugar. Mix in the vanilla and egg. Scrape down the bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the dry ingredients just until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Fold in 6 oz of the chocolate chips, save the rest for topping the dough balls.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour and preferably up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Scoop large mounds of dough (about ¼ cup each) onto baking sheets. Put no more than 6 cookies per sheet. Top each mound of dough with several chocolate chips and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt.
- Bake at 375ºF for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges are set and the middle still looks doughy. Allow to cool on the cookie sheets for at least 10 minutes before removing.