Monday, March 11, 2013

St. Patricks Day Mint Sandwich Cookies


There are many traditions on St. Patrick's Day here at our house. Although the traditions differ each year, there are a few things that stay the same. First, we always eat Lucky Charms with green milk for breakfast and secondly, these amazing chocolate mint sandwich cookies. We have also been known to have Pistachio Green Cake, Green Macaroons or other green desserts, but these cookies are always our favorite. This recipe is from my brother in laws mom. She was an amazing cook and even though she passed away several years ago, we all still think of her when we make these cookies. The cookie is incredibley moist and has a dark chocolate flavor. Sandwich these delightful cookies with a buttercream frosting center and they are melt in your mouth fabulous! If you need a fun and festive dessert for your upcoming St. Patrick's Day events, these are the cookies for you!

If you are trying to plan your St. Patricks Day menu, we may have a few ideas that might help. We eat this traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner every Sunday following St. Patricks Day together as an extended family. It is fun to see how many sides and desserts we can all bring that have the oh-so-lovely hint of green in them. We have also been known to make green homemade pizzas and also green potato shepherd's pie. Hope these ideas help spark some creativity for your upcoming parties ;)


Mint Sandwich Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon water
1 large egg lightly beaten

Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup real butter (1 stick)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1-3 teaspoons milk (as needed)
optional: red or green food coloring

Instructions
To make cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Heat chocolate chips, brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted and smooth (there will still be grains of sugar though).  Transfer mixture to a large bowl and beat in egg.  Stir in flour mixture until just combined.  Don’t overmix.

If dough is too soft to work with, let it sit at room temp for a few minutes to firm up, or place in the fridge for a few minutes.  Gently roll balls, either 1 tablespoon full for large cookies, or about 1/2 inch balls for silver dollar sized cookies.  Place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Bake cookies until just puffed in the middle and edges are set but centers are still soft.  About 7-8 minutes for large cookies, and about 5 minutes for small ones.  If using 2 cookie sheets, rotate them half way through baking.  Cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
To make filling, beat all frosting ingredients together, adding peppermint extract to taste.  Add milk by the teaspoonful until a spreadable, but not too soft consistency is reached.   Add food coloring if desired.  Place frosting in a zip-top bag and cut off a corner.  Pipe onto one side of cookie and place another on top. 
Yield:  If you use a tablespoon of dough, it will yield 1 1/2 dozen large sandwiches.  If you use a quarter of a standard cookie scoop (about a rounded teaspoon) it will yield 4-5 dozen.
 
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