Happy March 1st! You know what that means??? We are officially in the month of St. Patrick's Day! While technically Easter is in March this year too, I'm going to be diplomatic and give the first half of the month to all things green, and spend the last half focusing on bunnies, eggs, and Jesus. So to get in the Irish spirit, I decided to whip up some Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. I'm a huge fan of mint (ice cream, candies, chocolate, etc) and Noah thought it was pretty cool to make green cookies!
MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
makes about 3 dozen
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 full sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp. mint extract
15-20 drops green food coloring
1 cup Andes baking chips (you can find them like this pre-chopped, or buy the traditional candy and chop yourself)
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter. When creamy, add eggs, peppermint extract and food coloring. Mix until just combined - do not over mix.
3. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until just combined, do not over mix.
4. Add in chopped mints and chocolate chips, mixing briefly on low until incorporated through.
5. Using a cookie scoop (tbsp size), drop the cookies (about 2-3 inches apart) onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes.
6. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
While the Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies were a huge hit, I had a less than successful baking attempt when I tried to make some Mini Irish Soda Bread. I found the recipe in a cook book I received for Christmas filled with a ton of cookie recipes. Let me start by saying that I love Irish Soda Bread but I'm not a fan of raisins. And since store bought soda bread always have raisins in them, I thought it was time to try making my own. To be fair, I tried last year and failed, and while this year was better than that, they still weren't great. But just in case it's just me who isn't a fan, I'll share the recipe. Maybe you will be able to tell me how to tweak and improve them. As for me this year, I think I'll stick with store bought soda bread and just pick out the raisins ;)
MINI IRISH SODA BREADS
makes about 14-20 biscuits
1-1/2 cups of flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. honey
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer on low until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the caraway seeds.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, buttermilk, and honey. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
4. Turn out the clumps of dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead once or twice until the dough comes together. With one or two passes of a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll the dough out 1/2 inch thick. Dip a 1-1/2 inch biscuit cutter into some flour and cut as many rounds as you can from the dough. Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheet. Keep rolling out the dough and repeating until all the dough has been used.
5. Bake until the rounds have risen and are light golden, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. These are good with butter or preserves spread on them.