Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Let me just begin by saying that I know everyone says this.

But this year the Christmas stuff went up the day after Halloween.

I have mixed emotions about this.  I love Halloween.  I love Christmas.  Where does Thanksgiving fit in?

Thanksgiving continually gets the shaft.  It's too close to Christmas for me to spend the money on two plane tickets to travel home for both.  There's no flashy presents or quirky customs like trick or treating.  It doesn't even get the monopoly on the pumpkin, because Lord knows I started going pumpkin-crazy October first.

But I like Thanksgiving.  I like the fall, I love the turkey, the excuse to stuff yourself, all the different comfort foods, the mashed potatoes, the cranberries, the pie.  I love going around the table and saying what you're thankful for each year.  I love how it's totally okay to just lay on the couch and fall asleep after you stuff yourself.

That said, if I had to choose one, it would be Christmas, every time.  It's hands down my favorite holiday.  It's so big, in fact that I don't think a mere month is enough time to appreciate it.  In order to solve this confusing and guilt-inducing conundrum, I propose the following:

A.  Don't even say the word Christmas to me before November 1st.  I mean come on, stop being ridiculous.  Give fall a chance.

B.  Thanksgiving will just be incorporated into the Christmas season.  The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are fair game for Christmas-y activities and decorations, but just save all the snow-related decorations until after Turkey Day.

C.  The Christmas season gets extended to New Year's Day, so that seeing all those commercials after December 25th doesn't depressing the living daylights out of me.

All of this business may or may not be me justifying making Christmas cookies before Thanksgiving.  Because these are undeniably Christmas cookies.  You mix mint and chocolate like that and the york peppermint patty connection is unavoidable.

By the way, weren't those great commercials from like... the late 80's?  I loved those and the California Raisins commercials.  I remember our VHS recorded copy of Charlie Brown Christmas featured both of those.  Ahh childhood.

Back to the cookies.  These are another from the candy-within-a-cookie series.  Everyone always loves them, probably mostly because everyone loves Andes mints.

Chocolate Mint Cookies
(adapted from allrecipes, makes about 4 dozen) 

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (4.5 ounce) packages chocolate covered thin mints

In a double boiler over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a cookie sheet with baking spray and wipe gently with a paper towel to remove excess spray.  Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place on the sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, be careful not to overbake.  Set cookie sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool for one minute.  Press a mint lightly into each cookie and allow to melt for about two minutes.  With a small rubber spatula swirl melting mint around the inner rim of the cookie, swirling the mint with the chocolate.  Place cookie sheet in fridge for 10 minutes before removing cookies to a cooling rack.  Allow to set completely.

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do i want to keep thanksgiving in the fall or decorate immediately after halloween? discuss

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