In the past month I've made a disastrous pie, cookies that shattered into crumbs when I tried to remove them from the baking sheet, and another brilliant idea for cookies had to be scraped off the baking sheets in curling rinds of sad, misshapen failures.
The last cookie was an idea I'd had simmering since Christmas. I had picked up a package of Hershey's candy cane flavored kisses at the store. I dreamt up a riff on my favorite, the peanut butter kiss cookies - chocolate cookie base, rolled in crushed candy canes, and topped with a candy cane kiss. How perfect! In theory. What I didn't know was that in practice, crushed candy canes, when you bake them, become sugar shellac. And the dough that I'd made for the cookie base flattened out into a limp pancake. I'd plopped the kisses onto them when I took them out of the oven, then when I attempted to remove them to the cooling rack, they rolled up into sticky, cookie tacos and the melting kisses slid off and through the cooling rack. That was a language enrichment moment.
Amazingly, I'd been wise enough to make up just one sheet of cookies as a trial run. Normally, me being all for efficiency, I would have done up three baking sheets and then would have had three times the headache, three glasses of wine, and then probably thrown the cookie sheets off the back deck, sticky cookies still attached. Would that make me three sheets to the wind?
When my first batch failed so miserably, I was angry. I said, "Enough is enough! I'm not letting this go down in the books as another failure! I will redeem this batch of pathetic cookies!" So I doctored up the dough with extra flour to give it some body, added mint chips that I'd had sitting in my cupboard for a while, and voila (French for This had better not fail!), a new family favorite. I liked them warm when the chips were sort of oozy and melty. My husband likes them cool when the chips have more of a snap to them but the cookie is still soft. Chocolate and mint are always delicious together, and I love them even more because I didn't have to scrape them all into the garbage.
Notafailure Mint Chip Chocolate Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (or so) Mint Baking Chips*
1 - Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.
2- In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy.
3- Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in the mint chips.
4 - Drop the cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
5 - Bake 8 to 10 minutes, just until the tops set. Don't overbake, as this will make your cookies hard and dry. Remove the sheet from the oven, allow the cookies to rest on the sheets for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
* If you don't have access to Mint Baking Chips, play around with your favorite flavors and add-ins. You can add some peppermint extract to the dough and use chocolate chips. Butter brickle bits, peanut butter chips, or even chopped up candy cane Kisses that you happen to have lying around would all be good. Just stay away from crushed candy canes.