Monday, December 13, 2010

Double Chocolate Mint or Peppermint Cookies

This is a new holiday favorite recipe, or two really. I dreamed about making these for weeks before I had a legitimate reason to make them!!!! And, oh, were they worth the wait!



Peppermint Kiss Double Chocolate Chip Cookie
Mint Truffle Kiss Double Chocolate Chip & Mint M&M Cookie





Here's how to create these Christmas goodies!

Use my Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookie base and either add Peppermint Hershey's kisses to the top OR add mint m&m's plus mint truffle Hershey's kisses to the top. Or just follow the recipe below. It's one recipe that can be made into two variations, Mint Chocolate Chip or Peppermint Chocolate Chip cookies. If you want to try both you can make the batter until you get to the last three ingredients. Divide the dough, add mint extract/chips/kisses to half and the peppermint extract/chips/kisses to the second half.

Ultimate Double Chocolate Chip Cookie base
(same cookie base as my double chocolate chip recipe)
Yield: 36 cookies

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1 cup butter, softened--almost melted
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp peppermint or mint extract, dependent on your chip/kiss flavor
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
36 Hershey's kisses, peppermint candy or mint chocolate varieties OR Ande's mints, halved
1 1/2 cup Andes mint OR peppermint chips OR Andes chopped candies (either mint or peppermint, depending on which you make. Mint chips  for the mint cookie/Peppermint for the peppermint kiss version)**See Note

1. Cream softened butter and sugar w/wooden spoon (a hand mixer or standing mixer works well too, I just like to use the spoon, seems to make a better texture). Butter should be very soft. If you did not set it out before hand to reach room temp then place in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.
2. Add eggs.
3. Mix in salt, vanilla and baking soda.
4.  Mix in flour.
5. Mix in cocoa.
6. Fold in chips and/or M&M's.
7.Bake for 8-10 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE!
8. Once baked and taken from the oven, let them set on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, they will continue cooking and setting. This keeps them nice and gooey for days. Seriously, they are the perfect softness. If they are cooked for the perfect amount of time they will be firm enough to hold but gooey enough without being raw.
9. After they have rested on the cookie sheet, gently remove (they still might be soft) them and place on cooling rack.
10. After they've cooled for at least another 5 minutes on the rack THEN you can gently push the unwrapped kiss of your choice onto the cookie. Let them sit without disturbing or you may end up with a melted kiss. If you are giving them away or taking them to a party, cook ahead of time! If you disturb or move these around before they are completely cool, they can break or the kisses will melt or collapse a bit. Believe me, they're worth the wait!!!!

**VARIATION: for the mint truffle Hershey kiss cookies, you can use mint M&M's OR Andes mints OR mint chocolate chips.  The M&M's were a bit bigger than I expected and I think the Andes chips would not have been so cumbersome. Just use what you have on hand because either one is delicious!

Store in airtight container. Enjoy!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Shutterly plug

I wanted to give a little plug to Shutterfly. I've been using Shutterfly since 2002! I have been pleased with their wide variety of products. From their photo development (our photo collage wall photos were developed from Shutterfly) to their photo books to photo cards. I recently accrued enough Pampers "Gifts to Grow" points (mostly using codes for free points found online) to receive a free 8"x8" photo book! Gotta love free stuff!

When my first daughter was born we created a photo card announcement (similar to these) to send out to family. I've previously made a hardback cover 8"x8" photo book and love it! I've also made calendars for my parents.

Here a few designs that I can't decide to make for a Christmas photo card this year! There are way too many to choose from! I personally like the ones that you can add one or more photos to, because I can never decide which photos to choose.

Click on the photo for a link.

I like this simple yet bold black, white, green and red design. I like the black and white photos with the simple red and green. This is a flat photo card.

These colors match better with our family photos.

But I also like their folded cards like this one.

But then I like the simple look of this single photo like this one with the simple message.

I really just love the photo for this one!

Whichever I choose I want to get 5x7" size because it can easily be framed and doesn't need to be cropped!

Which to choose? So many choices....! Print Friendly and PDF