Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate Mint Cookies {WAY better than Girl Scouts!}

Growing up, my family would join with our "best friend family" and spend an entire day making cookies. One year, when they planned to start baking on a school day (they expected us to wait until after school to help! ha!) I stayed home sick from school. When my mom's friend arrived, she had- you guessed it- MY best friend with her who also stayed home sick that day! Imagine that, we didn't even plan it! I think it really must have given us a stomach ache to think of them baking without us! Our siblings had all gone to school, we were the only two who just couldn't fathom being at school. I have the fondest memories of five kids at our (or theirs, depending on the year) dining room table, rolling Russian Teacakes in powdered sugar, or putting sprinkles on sheets of Spritz cookies, or putting the chocolate disk and nut on top of the Santa's Thumbprint cookies when they came out of the oven. Anyway! Back to the matter at hand! One of the many cookies our families made every year were these! They blow the pants off of Girl Scout Thin Mints! Trust me!The most important thing in making these cookies are buying the right ingredients! This chocolate, Mercken's, will completely harden on it's own {no refrigerating required} , and it will look glossy and smooth. The other thing you will need is peppermint oil, NOT extract or flavoring. This is the way it's been done for all of my 28 years and I'm not gonna mess with a good thing! =) The only other ingredient you'll need is a box of Original Ritz crackers, again, no generics here. If you live in Visalia, you can find Mercken's at Sweets N Things or Pacific Treasures.Lay out rows of wax paper on your counter top. Use the double boiler method to melt your chocolate. I used 2 of the one pound bags in this bowl. If you don't know how to do a double boiler, you simply put about an inch or so of water in a pan and nestle in a heat safe bowl, and stir the chocolate while the water boils. Make sure the water isn't so high that it would actually touch the bowl.

After your chocolate is totally smooth and melted, remove from the heat, but keep over the pan of steam. Add about 6 small drops of peppermint oil to this amount of chocolate and stir. You are ready to dip! Drop four Ritz, face down in the chocolate. Don't use broken crackers, you want your chocolate smooth, not full of crumbs. Using two forks, you will use your right hand to flip it once, and the fork in the left hand you will gently press the tines into the top of the cracker so that you can shake off any excess chocolate.

I didn't have an extra set of hands in the house to take a picture of me doing that step, since I need both hands to do it.

Drop on your wax paper and allow to completely dry. Store in an airtight container.

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