Really, Dale? You burned the cookies? What are you, some sort of amateur?
You don’t even want to know how many times I’ve berated myself for this. There’s almost nothing worse than overcooking cookies. It’s a terribly disappointing thing. So yes, I burned the edges of some of these cookies, resulting in uniformly crisp cookies as opposed to crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside cookies, but luckily it was only about half the batch. Another lucky thing: the husband tends to prefer his food burnt and crunchy. Go figure.
I was so annoyed at myself for overbaking these cookies that I wasn’t going to tell you about them. But then I realized that you shouldn’t be punished for my mistakes. But I won’t be too hard on myself. I maintain that cookies are fickle. Of everything I bake, I find cookies to be the most unpredictable items. So many little factors contribute to the way they turn out: the type of baking sheets you use, whether you line them with parchment or grease them or not, your specific oven’s idiosyncrasies. I believe I’ve expounded upon this topic before.
To take one example, my mother’s cookies always come out flat. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just sort of irritating and mysterious. Is the flatness due to her oven? The baking sheets she uses? The humidity in Florida? Her aura? Neither is the mysterious flatness of my mother’s cookies a new topic here.
These mint chocolate cookies are the cookies I associate with my mom. They’re one of my most favorite things she makes, and I always look forward to them around Christmastime, and sometimes other times (there’s frequently a stash in the freezer). These cookies are very flat, and I love that about them. In my mom’s version, the chips push out the top of the cookie, forming little hills on an otherwise flat surface. My cookies weren’t so thin, and their top surfaces crackled. Mine probably look prettier, but hers are better.
There’s some drama surrounding these cookies, which contributes to their appeal, of course.
Nestle used to make mint chocolate chips, and on the package was this recipe. Then, Nestle just upped and stopped making the chips. (Fortunately, my mom had copied the recipe from the package.) There then ensued an anxious period of time when mint chocolate chips were nowhere to be found. This could’ve been tragic for the double chocolate mint chip cookies, whose existence depended on those chips. But then! Hershey’s started making mint chocolate chips, with their own, very different recipe for mint chocolate chip cookies printed on the package. We don’t use Hershey’s recipe, although I admit I’m curious about it; we use Nestle’s.
These chips only appear in stores during the holiday season, though, so every Christmastime my mom stocks up. Who knows when or if they’ll be discontinued again? When I was in Florida last month, I found her freezer alarmingly full of these bags of mint chips. I asked her if I could take a bag home with me so I could make the cookies, but then I forgot to. True to form, she sent me two bags in the mail, along with a copy of the Nestle recipe. Within two hours of receiving the package, I was making the cookies. Why wouldn’t I be?
I tried out two different baking sheets with these cookies, and here’s my advice to you: if you’re using dark baking sheets, reduce the cooking time by a couple minutes. These cookies are easy to overbake because here’s what they do (or at least here’s what they did for me): they puff up and then they sink. You want to take them out of the oven when they’re puffed up, even though they don’t look like they’re done, then let them sink while they cool. You do not want to wait until they sink in the oven; that means they’ve overcooked. Don’t stress! You’ll do fine! Oh, but good luck finding mint chocolate chips in the grocery store. As far as I can tell, you can’t even buy the Hershey’s chips online, but here’s another option.
Double Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies, adapted from the packaging of the discontinued Nestle Toll House Mint Flavored Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen cookies
- 10 oz (1 1/2 cups) mint chocolate chips, divided
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt half of the mint chocolate chips (3/4 cup) in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Alternatively, heat gently in the microwave, stirring and taking care not to burn the chocolate. Cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add melted chocolate and egg; beat well. Gradually blend in the flour mixture. Stir in the remaining mint chocolate chips.
- Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Allow to stand for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the cookie sheets to a cooling rack.