Monday, August 16, 2010

Baking and Reading: Chocolate Mint Softies

I have been reading " chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" it is part of a Mystery series by Joanne Fluke. I purchased this book a long time ago by accident for something for Cade to read ( no wonder he was not into it- he said he thought they were old lady books) and then I discovered that the book that I bought for Cade was part of this series of mysteries that the Master Garden ladies were sharing and passing around. So part of my summer reading has been this murder mystery. These little books are full of recipes mixed in with the story which makes it fun.
Here is an index for all the recipes in the books recipes

Chocolate Mint Softies

"From Joanne Fluke's "Candy for Christmas""

2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate squares
1/2 cup butter , at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar , firmly packed
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large eggs
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract (if you can't find it, use vanilla)
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups flour (packed down)
3/4 cup pecan pieces coarsely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate squares , melted
1/3 cup butter , room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cream (about) or 2 teaspoons milk (about)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, rack in the middle position.
2. Line cookie sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray. Leave little "ears" of foil sticking up on the sides, large enough to grab later.
3. Unwrap squares of chocolate and break them apart. Put them in a small microwave safe bowl, melt them for 90 seconds on high. Stir them until they're smooth and set aside to cool while you mix up your cookie dough.
4. Combine butter and sugars together. Beat on medium speed until smooth. (Less than a minute).

5. Add baking soda and salt, resume beating on medium for another minute, or until incorporated.
6. Add egg and beat on medium until the batter is smooth (another minute).
7. Add the peppermint and chocolate extracts, and mix for about 30 seconds.
8. Shut off the mixer and scrape the bowl. Then add melted chocolate and mix again for another minute on medium speed.
9. Shut off mixer and scrape down bowl again. At low speed, mix in half of the flour. Once incorporated, mix in sour cream.
10. Scrape down bowl again, add the rest of the flour and beat until fully incorporated.
11. Stir bowl with a spoon a few times. Mix in pecan pieces by hand.
12. Use a teaspoon to spoon the dough onto the foil-lined cookie sheets, 12 cookies to a sheet. (If dough is too sticky, chill for half an hour and try again.).
13. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until they rise and are firm.
14. Slide the foil from the cookie sheets and onto a wire rack. Let the cookies cool on the rack while the next sheet is baking. When the next sheet is ready, pull them onto the counter/table and slide the new foil onto the rack. Keep alternating until all dough is baked.
15. When all the cookies are cool, set them out on wax paper for frosting.
17. Put broken chocolate squares into a microwave safe bowl. Melt on high for 90 seconds. Stir until smooth and set aside.
18. When chocolate is cool, mix in the butter. Then stir in the powdered sugar.
19. Mix in the vanilla extract and the cream. Beat the frosting until it's of spreading consistency. (This is no-fail frosting, if it's too thick add more cream, too thin, add more powdered sugar).
20. Frost your cookies and leave them on the waxed paper until the frosting has hardened.
21. When the frosting has hardened, arrange the cookies on a pretty platter. They store well in a covered container, when separated by wax paper.
22. If you don't have time to frost, coat the cookies with powdered sugar while they're still warm. Do a second sprinkling once cool.

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