There are several flavor combos that I can’t resist, such as:
Dark chocolate and passion fruit
Caramel and sea salt
Classic chocolate and peanut butter
Peaches and blackberries
Cherries and almonds
But especially during this time of year, I can’t help but fall head over heels for any sweets made with chocolate and mint. I know it’s a classic combination, but it’s one that I wholeheartedly endorse.
Since I’ve been baking a lot lately, I decided to make a Christmas-y version of my normal recipe for Double Chocolate-Almond Cookies. I replaced the chocolate chips with the mint chocolate chips I mentioned in my early November post: Odd Things from America I Bring to Turkey. Then, I replaced the coffee flavor with mint extract, and soon I had that familiar chocolate-mint combination I love.
I know you can’t find mint chocolate chips in Istanbul, but you can still use the normal mini chocolate chips along with an extra teaspoon of mint extract. I buy my mint “essence” as it’s called from my friends at Ucuzcular at the Mısır Çarşısı. This may also be labeled as nane aroması in Turkish.
I ended up making a double batch of these spectacular cookies because I’m making holiday gift bags to give to some of my friends at the pazar, kasap and other local merchants. I want to thank them for the good service they give to this yabancı all year long.
One lucky friend received a dozen of these and only shared ONE with her husband. That’s how good these chocolate-mint cookies are!
If you don’t share these cookies with your friends, you may have to hide them from your husband and/or kids too!
Holiday Chocolate-Mint Cookies
(Adapted from “The Great Book of Chocolate” by David Lebovitz)
Yields: 5+ dozen small cookies
8 oz. (250 g.) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 c. (200 g.) granulated sugar
¾ c. (180 g.) brown sugar, firmly packed
2 ea. large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or 1 Turkish vanilla sugar sachet)
2 tsp. mint extract
2 c. (280 g.) All-purpose flour (Add an extra ½ cup flour if using Turkish flour.)
2/3 c. (65 g.) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
¾ c. (100 g.) almonds or substitute your favorite nuts
¾ c. (100 g.) mint chocolate chips
|Turkish mint essence is usually sold in small glass bottles like this one, pictured.|
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C.
2. Place the butter and sugars into a metal mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the mixture until light and fluffy, about three to five minutes.
3. Next, add the eggs, vanilla and mint. Mix well.
4. Then, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, and blend until well combined.
5. Lastly, stir in the nuts and mint chocolate chips.
6. Now, you scoop the cookie dough into small balls (walnut size) and bake them right away. Or you can roll the dough into approximately 2” wide logs, then wrap them in waxed paper and freeze them. It’s up to you. Once the dough is frozen, you can thinly slice the dough and bake the cookies.
7. Bake the cookies on a parchment paper-lined half sheet tray. Bake until the cookies are just flat, about 8 minutes in a convection oven or about 15 minutes in a conventional oven.
8. Transfer the cookies to a cooling back.