Friday, December 23, 2011

Seasonal goodies: Mint roll-up cookies

This is a new recipe this year, though it's from an older cookbook. From my choices this year it's clear that my idea of "best Christmas cookie" is a very buttery butter cookie or shortbread cookie with various flavors. Must be all those butter-and-sugar sandwiches my mother gave me when I was small, back in the day when butter, sugar, and white bread were supposed to be good for you. As usual, I take a recipe and immediately start making it my own, so this is my version of the ingredients and procedures:

Mmm, mint, chocolate, and butter, the Christmas food groups!

Mint roll-up cookies

Cream together thoroughly 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of butter. (C'mon, it's Christmas. Use the real thing. Get it from a local creamery if you can.)

Add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peppermint or spearmint extract (depending on how minty you like your cookies).

Divide the mixture into two bowls. To one bowl add 1 oz of melted unsweetened chocolate and 1 tablespoon of unsweetened powdered cocoa (all melted chocolate makes the dough too soft, all cocoa powder makes it too dry, I found).  Tint the mixture in the other bowl with a few drops of green food coloring.

Mix 3/4 cup of flour with 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add this to the chocolate mixture. Mix another 3/4 cup of flour with 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt together and add it to the green butter mixture. Stir each gently until blended. Add a small amount of milk if the dough is too dry to hold together.

On a floured surface, roll the chocolate dough out into a rectangle about 7" x 12 inches. Roll out the green dough to the same size. Brush the chocolate dough lightly with milk and lay the green dough on top of it (it helps to roll it up on the rolling pin to transfer it). Roll lightly to make the two layers stick together. Brush the top of the green dough with milk and roll the rectangle up, starting on one of the long sides, brushing the floured surface of the chocolate dough as needed to make the roll stick together. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

Lice the roll into 1/4 inch slices and lay them about 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 9 minutes.

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