Oops . . . I told someone during the Facebook party that I would include the recipe for our cookies in today’s post, and I forgot to earlier. These cookies are definitely an established tradition in our family. They, and a certain trombone version of “Jingle Bells” piping up at an unexpected time, are the first heralds of the advent season at the Forsters. I’ve been making these since way back when John and I first got married.
The original recipe came from an “Herb Quarterly” magazine, and it called them Taurus Mint Cookies. We’ve fiddled with it a bit, and we just call them the green cookies. The recipe is simple, and it’s one of those cookie recipes that makes cookies that are deceivingly plain looking. Only the people who know how good they are pick them up when we take them to parties. There’s an inside circle of green cookie lovers in our acquaintances.
1 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. peppermint extract
2 T. crushed dried mint leaves (Sometimes we rip open peppermint tea bags if we’re craving these cookies but forgot to stock up on dried mint.)
2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
This is where we divert from the original recipe, and probably why some people don’t choose these cookies to eat. We add a bit of green food coloring to make them look more like the chocolate mint ice cream we all love. You have to experiment with how much food coloring — depending on whether you’re using the liquid or paste type coloring. The trick is getting enough so that the cookies are obviously supposed to be green and not just a weird off-color, and not too much so they look sick.
We also add chocolate chips because there’s just not much point in eating a cookie if it doesn’t have any chocolate in it. Mini-chocolate chips are nice, but I usually use regular chips because they’re cheaper. The recipe says to chill the dough. We never do this. The need to eat the cookies is usually far too urgent.
Form the cookies into 1″ balls, roll them in sugar, place on a cookie sheet (I never remember whether I grease the cookie sheet or not. I think I usually don’t.)
Press the cookies flat (about 3/8″ – 1/2″) with the bottom of a glass (dipping it in sugar between pressings helps it not stick). Daniel’s wife, Katelyn, said they stay fresh longer if you don’t flatten them, so I tried it. Too much diversion from tradition around here. I was told the flattened ones are preferred.
Bake 12-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
If you’re really ambitious, dipping the tops of these (after they’ve cooled) in melted chocolate is another nice touch, and seems to convince more people to try them. If you want them all to yourselves, skip this step. 🙂