Have a MINTastic Day!

dscn9608Sometimes; you just need a cookie. These cookies are great for people with Autism, who require a bit more oomph to their food (in order to taste it). I have heard many moms with Autistic children and even people with Autism, say that they put hot sauce on everything, so they can taste it. I wanted to find a cookie recipe that would be so strong in scent and taste, that it could knock their socks off (so to speak). I hope I have accomplished this. If you or your child is sensitive to powerful smells, or you don’t like mint; I give alternatives at the end of the blog.

Without further a dough (haha see what I did there?) I give you; A MINTastic cookie recipe!

You will need:

1 1/2 Sticks of butter (room temperature) (or just soften it up in the microwave)                       

1/2 C Sugar

1/2 C Brown Sugar (pack it down in there)

2 Eggs

2 Tablespoons of Water

1/2 tsp (Teaspoon) of Vanilla (extract)

1/2 C of Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder (baking cocoa powder, not the drink mix)

3/4 tsp Baking SODA

1/4 tsp Salt

1 1/3 C Flour

8 oz Semisweet Chocolate Chips

60 Andes Mints (that’s right…60!)

Alright, step one for any cookie baking process is to preheat the oven. But in our case, the first order of business is to unwrap and cut our Andes mints. This can get messy.

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You can either start by unwrapping them all at once and then cutting them, or you can unwrap a few at a time and cut them up. I like to do a few at a time. You can choose how to cut them up; I like to cut them into 6 pieces. I cut length wise and then cut twice width wise. Once you are done, you should have a giant pile of wrappers and a nice container of chopped up mints.

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I can hear people saying “Why don’t you just buy the bags at the store that are pre-cut?” My answer to that is; “you don’t know how long they have been in the bag, and you don’t know if they add anything else to them in order to preserve them for longer.” Plus, it’s fun, messy, and tasty. I recommend buying them at Winco or any other whole foods store that sells in bulk; that way you save money.

Next, we preheat our oven to 375°

You may have noticed that the ingredients in the recipe section are in different colors. That’s because the colors represent what goes together in each step AND it is in rainbow order, so you don’t forget. I left out yellow because it doesn’t show up very well.

So, step 3 or step RED is:

CREAM together the Butter, Sugar, and Brown Sugar in a mixer. Stop right there! What does CREAM mean? It means to blend it all together at a quick pace, in order to create air and fluffiness to the cookie. It should look like the picture below.

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You can leave it on for longer and let it get even fluffier if you’d like.

Step 4:

Add the water, eggs, and vanilla to the mixer. Now you want to do this part slowly. Not have the mixer on slow, but slowly add the wet ingredients. Eggs do NOT like to mix with butter and it will look like cottage cheese if they decide not to blend. Not that it will ruin the cookies, but it looks better. I didn’t take a picture of this stage because the next picture is prettier.

Step 5:

SLOWLY start adding the cocoa powder. Now when I say to add it slowly, I really mean: ADD IT SLOWLY! Not only will it get everywhere if you throw it in there too quickly, but the dust gets up into the air and it’s not good for your lungs. Not kidding. So just slowly tip some in as the mixer is on a slow speed and incorporate it as soon as the previous stuff is well blended. No big deal. it should look like the picture below. Also; remember to wipe down the sides with a spatula, to make sure everything gets mixed in nicely.

dscn9602Step 6:

You want to add your dry ingredients. Now every professional chef/baker is going to tell you to sift the dry ingredients. But seriously, who has that kind of time or patience? I tried a taste test with friends to see if they could tell cookies that had sifted ingredients versus not sifted ingredients and guess what? There was no difference. So I say to just throw that stuff in there as is. Now you want to do it slowly; again, you don’t want flour everywhere. But doing it slowly also insures that it all gets incorporated evenly. Remember to swipe down the sides with your spatula. And it should look just like this:

dscn9603Clearly, I hadn’t swiped down the sides before taking the picture. Minor details.

Step 7:

It is time to add the most important part: The mints and chocolate! Throw them in and turn on the mixer for a quick second, and it should look like this:

dscn9604MMMMM lumpy, bumpy chocolatey goodness. Now I don’t condone eating cookie dough, because then some of you will eat it and maybe one of you will get food poisoning and try to find me. SO…IF you happen to get some on your finger and lick it off…it tastes just like brownie batter! Not that I condone that either. Very unhealthy, and risky. *cough*

Ok, so now you have your awesome batter. Place some parchment paper over a baking pan and get out your trusty cookie scoop. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, no worries. A spoon works just as well. I like to scoop and plop them in sets of 12; makes room for spreading. But your pan may be smaller. The number doesn’t matter, just leave a little space for them to spread. Like so:

dscn9605As you can see; I ripped the paper. But no matter, I still had plenty of room. Now toss those babies in for about 10 minutes. Don’t really toss them, it’s a figure of speech. With my oven, it took exactly 10 minutes. You will have to check yours to make sure they do not finish earlier or later. They don’t brown on the top, so check the inside for doneness. Also; remember that they will continue to cook when you bring the pan out of the oven and wait for them to cool. Take them off the pan and move them to a cooling rack BEFORE they are completely cooled or else they can get over baked. Just wait about two minutes for them to stiffen and then whisk them away to a romantic cooling rack.

dscn9606Aren’t they beautiful? I just LOVE cookies! They are sweet, portable, and not too horrible for you…….ok, well..they’re still sweet and portable.

Like I said earlier; if you do not like mint, or you are sensitive to the smell, I have an exchange you can do. Do the same ingredients as listed above, however; remove the Andes mints and replace with 6 oz of white chocolate chips. They are phenomenal this way too.

If your kids are old enough to help, then there’s plenty for them to do. This can be a bonding experience and a sensory experience. Or you can make them while they sleep and slip them into their lunchbox as a special surprise! Either way, it’s a tasty recipe.

On a personal note: this is the first time I have shared a recipe before. I cherish my recipes and normally hoard them. But I want others to try them and enjoy them with their little ones. So please give them a try and leave a comment telling me how you liked them!

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