Emerging from summer hiatus


"He was a bore, a true chore and I still wonder why I wanted to see him more."

After a too-warm but musical summer (listened to incredible amounts of music, which will lend itself well to my annual Halloween music mix), Monday saw me returning to form, supplying the office (as well as several friends abroad) with baked goods. While I stuck pretty firmly with old favorites/standby recipes to get into the swing of things, I did finally get around to attempting chocolate cookies dipped in mint chocolate (thin mints, essentially).

"He was kind, polite and divine in public, tender as a sleepy child
But when we got slightly more intimate it wasn't that bright
Yes he was kind, polite, sound and sublime, in theory
But in practice believe me, there was a nasty fire burning"

Long ago, I attempted these thin mint cookies for the first time. The dough was temperamental and difficult to work with (the dough, once made, needed to be chilled, but once chilled was too stiff to roll out; once it had been out of the fridge even briefly, it was the wrong consistency for rolling). Part of the rolling-out challenges come down to the fact that thin mints must, of necessity, be quite thin, but with dough that is so thin, you risk excessive fragility. Eventually I managed to roll it out into large sheets, and my then-boyfriend and I carried the sheets out onto the balcony (into the freezing Icelandic winter night). This sounds ludicrous, but the sheets were too large to fit into the fridge or freezer again and needed to be re-chilled in order to comply with the process of cutting out cookie shapes. Once baked, the cookies were cooperative and easily dipped in melted, minty chocolate.

"And when my curves came into play
Oh what a hopeless tumbling down
When his desire was stuck in plaster
I was young but I believed in no tales!"

The trouble here was that I had forgotten what a hassle that dough was, and when I tried to make them again recently, I failed miserably. I had such a short memory of the hassles of the first time (which did in the end work out, to much acclaim by colleagues who ate the end result) that when someone asked if these cookies had been difficult to make, I confidently proclaimed, "No, it was easy." (Not unlike my father, who claims that Thanksgiving dinner is "easy" to put together. Probably for him it is because he sits on his ass watching football the whole time the dinner is being prepared….)

"Sit in the desert of the bed I looked hard for an oasis
But all I could find was a dead camel in pieces
And I got so scared I tried to lure him back to bed
Whispered "stay just a little bit more"
But now I'm grateful to the camel
Because all the lazy boy could do was RUN, then I knew for sure
That he would never be the satisfying shag I needed, no no no…"

I wised up. I altered the recipe for the cookies and got a much more friendly chocolate dough. I did not make the final product into cookies as thin as I would have liked, and the chocolate used to dip them in was a bit too thick (so I only used it on the tops of the cookies rather than coating the whole cookie). The cookies did not turn out to be beautiful or perfect, but for those who love chocolate and mint together, I assume these were satisfying.

Thin Mint Cookies (I doubled the recipe)

1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour (You will want a bit of flour for rolling the cookies out; I always roll dough out between two sheets of waxed paper, but you might throw a bit of flour in between as well)

Cream butter and sugar together; add egg and mix well. Stir in vanilla and cocoa.
Whisk together dry ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour).
Incorporate flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix until blended.
Chill cookie dough for at least 15 minutes. (I wrapped mine in plastic wrap and chilled for a couple of days.)

After chilling, place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out about 1/4 inch thick (or desired thickness). Cut out cookies using a small (2-inch) cookie cutter. (I used one that looked a bit like a four-leaf clover or crude flower.)

Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes.

When cookies are completely cool, you can dip them in melted chocolate (plain chocolate, dark chocolate or mint chocolate).

I used two large bars of regular milk chocolate, melted in a bowl over boiling water, with some peppermint extract mixed in. I also put in a tablespoon of vegetable shortening to make the chocolate a bit more pliable and liquid.

Using a fork, dip cookies in melted chocolate until completely coated (or just one side, if you want, as I did). Transfer dipped cookies to parchment-lined baking sheet for chocolate to set. Allow chocolate to set for at least a couple of hours before eating.


(Song lyrics from The Dø – "Stay (Just a Little Bit More)")

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