Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cookie Baking 2011 Has Begun!

Christmas season baking has begun! Today I made one batch of Anise Biscotti from the Il Fornaio Baking Book and one batch of Mint Surprise Cookies.  The mint cookies have a 'long' history in our family. The recipe is the winner of the very first Pillsbury bake off, I believe.  My Aunt Eva got the recipe in Minnesota and tested it out on my cousins.  They loved them.  She shared the recipe with the rest of the family, including my Mom and Aunt Kay in Connecticut.  They were an instant hit.  In the 50's Mom would buy Rockwood Mints to make the cookies, but those mints are no longer available.  We used Andes Mints for a while, 1/3 of a mint in each cookie.  Recently, I tried using the Deep Forest Mint chocolate from Endangered Species for a more 'grown up' cookie flavor.  I use 1/2 of a square in each cookie (so 30 cookies can be made with each bar).  They're expensive but well worth it.  Each cookie is topped with a pecan half (Mom used walnuts, Aunt Kay used pecans). 

Here's the recipe:

Mint Surprise Cookies
Yield: Approximately 80 cookies
Preheat oven to 375F.

Sift in bowl:  3 1/2 cups flour
         1 tsp. baking soda
         1/2 tsp salt
Cream in separate bowl: 1/2 cup butter
         1/2 cup shortening
         1 cup granulated sugar
         1/2 cup brown sugar
Add: 2 eggs
         1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mint Chocolate
Pecan or walnut halves

Blend dry ingredients gradually.  Mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.  Cut the mint chocolate into pieces no more than 1/2 inch square.  Cover each piece of chocolate with a thin layer of dough to form a small cylinder no more than 1/2 inch high and 1 inch in diameter.  Top each cookie with half a pecan or walnut. Place on an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Remove from oven, place on wire rack to cool.  Pack these cookies separately from other cookies as their mint flavor will 'infect' other milder flavored cookies.

No comments:

Post a Comment