If you want some serious Christmas-time indulgence, look no further. These cookies aren’t called melt aways for nothing – they are smooth, creamy, mint-chocolatey cookie goodness that melts in your mouth. There really isn’t anything specifically christmas-y about them (except for the mint/christmas flavour association), but they do take a bit of time to prepare, so Christmas just feels like a good excuse to make them.
In order to make sure they turn out as tasty as possible, don’t skimp on the chocolate. Make sure you get high quality white chocolate (like Lindt), it makes the cookies noticeably better. Oh, and if you can bring yourself to share a few, get ready to make a whole bunch of new friends!
Mix vanilla and peppermint extracts, butter, flour and icing sugar to make the dough. If you have hand held beaters, this step is no big deal. But if you dont, (like me!) you have to use a fork and a bit of elbow grease. And be prepared for the occasional arm cramp if you lack upper body strength like I do. Although, this risk is greatly reduced if you actually remember to pull the butter out of the fridge a few hours in advance. Soft butter is so much easier to mix by hand.
For the piping stage, you can buy plastic piping bags at bulk barn for about 35 cents each. They’re pretty heavy plastic too, so I’ve been able to reuse mine. Or get a big ziploc bag and cut off one of the bottom corners. Voila! Piping bag, McGyver style.
Bake them @ 350 for about 12 minutes, until the edges start getting golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the layer of mint ganache that will eventually meltaway. Whipping cream, butter, peppermint extract and high quality white chocolate to be exact.
Spread some of the ganache on the flat side of the cookie, then put them in the fridge to set for at least half an hour.
Next time I will do dunking stage in two batches, leaving the cookies in the fridge for as long as possible. I learned the hard way that if the cookies are sitting at room temperature for too long, the ganache gets melty and runs with the chocolate coating. Everything will still taste amazing, but they won’t look as fancy!
For the chocolate coating, melt some semi-sweet baker’s chocolate and vegetable shortening and dunk the ganache coated side of the cookies in. That’s right, MORE CHOCOLATE!!
Lay them dunked side down on a foil covered cookie sheet, and put them in the fridge to set. Keep them refrigerated if at all possible, or else they might melt away on the table instead of your tongue 😦 So maybe not the best cookies to leave out for Santa. Oh well, more for you!
Chocolate-Mint Melt Aways Recipe
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp peppermint extract
½ cup plus 2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 ½ – 2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp whipping cream
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
9 ounces high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), chopped
9 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp solid vegetable shortening
For Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Using electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla extract and peppermint extract in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in 1 cup flour. Stir in remaining 1 cup four. Spoon half of the dough into pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe 2 ½ inch long ovals with solid (not hollow) centers on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies ½ inch apart. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Bake cookies until golden brown at edges, about 12 minutes. Let stand on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and cool.
For Ganache: Bring cream and butter to simmer in heavy small saucepan over low heat. Add white chocolate; stir until melted and smooth. Mix in extract. Refrigerate ganache just until firm enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Using small metal icing spatula (or spoon), spread 1 tsp ganache over flat side of 1 cookie. Place cookie, ganache side up, on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ganache is firm, about 30 minutes.
For coating: Stir bittersweet chocolate and shortening in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove chocolate coating from over water.
Holding 1 cookie on sides, dip ganache side into chocolate coating and shake cookie to remove excess chocolate. Return cookie to same foil covered sheet, chocolate dipped side down. Repeat with remaining cookies. Chill until coating sets, about 30 minutes. Remove cookies from foil.
From: Bon Appetit