Sunday, December 1, 2013

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!

Afiyet olsun!
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.

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BacktoBodrum said...

I'm off to find mint extract now. Sadly missing from my cupboard.

Joy said...

@BacktoBodrum, hope you can find the mint extract! Happy baking!

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

gorgeous, gorgeous Joy, love the idea of mint extract in it :) we must be all thinking cakes, as i just posted choc cake with red pepper flakes in it!: ) xx ozlem

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting! Will definitely try some variant of these, your chocolate-mint cookies were divine! I just need to first finish what I have in the freezer, went a bit overboard with the Christmas baking this year - as always. Go get some friends over to help me eat it...

Amy said...

Thanks for this recipe, Joy! I love the mint and choco combo so much. Instead of venturing over to the Spice Bazaar, I stopped at my nearby aktar and asked if they had nane aroması that I could use for cooking. They told me that the oil could be used but just a few drops as it is so concentrated. A quick online search shows me that indeed peppermint oil can be used in cooking but I was wondering if you had any experience with using essential oils this way. I'm a bit hesitant. Thank you!

Sippy Cup Central said...

We must have similar taste buds!

Annie Ozsarac said...

Hey Joy! I don't have mint chocolate chips so would these cookies still be as good without them?
Merry Christmas!

Joy said...

@Ozlem, thanks! Happy holiday baking to you too!

@Ann-Katrin, glad you enjoyed! Good luck cleaning out the freezer. Ours is full of pork and cheese.

@Amy, no need to hesitate. I've used badem yagi (almond oil) when I made my spritz cookies. It's fairly concentrated just like the small Dr. Oetker bottles you can buy at the store. Just add and taste & adjust accordingly. :-)

Joy said...

@Karen, yes, my friend, I think we do! ;-)

@Annie, These cookies will still be super tasty if you use normal chocolate chips. Perhaps add extra nane aroma. Taste the dough and see what you think. You'll still get the nice flavor combo of mint & chocolate together. Merry Christmas too!

Nicole said...

Seriously I need to read your blog more regularly! :)

These cookies are crazy awesome. I wouldn't share them with my hubby again if I had to do it over again. :)
I guess I will have to find nane aroması and make these on my own :)

Joy said...

@Nicole, well, I do try and post at least 2-3 times a week. ;-) Now you can make the cookies at home too.

Amy said...

These turned out really well! Instead of adding the peppermint oil directly to the dough, I filled a plastic bag with plain choco chips and added drops of the oil to the bag, shaking it really well and tasting the chips until I got just the right amount of minty-ness! I'm sooo going to get my money's worth from that nane yağı!!

Joy said...

@Amy, that's a great idea too! You could do that with so many things like if you wanted to add orange extract or other essences to nuts or chocolate chips.