Can you believe it’s the last day of summer? Although I was away for 5 weeks of it it really didn’t feel like a usual stinking hot Aussie summer. I am still looking forward to autumn though and seeing my favourite trees turn into golden beauties. The turn of the season doesn’t just mean a change in the trees it also means we’re entering the season of my Birthday (March 22 just in case you wanted to know!), Easter and my wedding! Yesterday marked the two month countdown. The time is just flying and I can’t wait. Thanks to my super organised and clever mum, everything is on track. We just need everyone to do a no-rain dance on the 28th of April please.
I know that brides-to-be are meant to be on super health kicks and crazy exercise regimes but I just don’t think it goes very well with being a food blogger. I still need my treats. One of my favourite treats, I blame dad for this one because he loves them too, is after dinner mints. I could quite happily eat a whole box of them closely followed by mint slice biscuits. When I saw that this recipe by Nigella is the perfect substitute for dinner mints I just had to try it.
The chocolatey biccies are coated with a drizzle of mint-chocolate icing making them the perfect treat with a cup of tea after a long day of wedding planning. As Nigella says, they’d also make the perfect after dinner treat at a dinner party and nice alternative to the usual mints. They’re really easy to make, with no rolling required. Just mix, blob, bake and drizzle and they’re ready to eat.
I wonder who first invented the first step in so many baking recipes – beating the butter and sugar? There really aren’t to many recipes that don’t start this way. Beat them together in an electric mixer until they are light and creamy.
It’s best to stop and scrape down the sides at this stage and then add the eggs and vanilla and beat them through the sugar and butter.
Sift all the dry ingredients together and gradually add them to the bowl while the motor is running. Keep beating until all the dry ingredients are mixed in.
Take the bowl off the stand and pour in the chocolate chips. I decided that one type of chocolate wasn’t enough for these cookies so mixed it up with some dark chocolate and some milk. Stir them through until they’re well mixed in. You don’t want and cookies to be light on the chocolate.
Nigella says to use a tablespoon to make the dough balls. I started off using it and realised I was going to quickly run out of dough and not go anywhere near the 26 cookies she promised. I made 24 using a heaped teaspoon of dough per cookie.
Now for those of you who asked about my measuring spoons way back in January. Santa finally remembered where the elves made them and I can report that it was at a shop called Pandanus Culture which is at 4 Thomas Street, Noosaville.
Leave at least 2cm between the dough balls. They don’t spread too much but you don’t want them to turn into Siamese cookies. Bake them for 12 minutes at 180C fan-forced.
When they’re baked, leave them to rest on the tray for 5 minutes. Don’t worry if they’re a little soft when they come out of the oven. They’ll firm up as they cool.
Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Nigella makes the icing on the stove top but you know I’m all for the easy way. I made the icing by combining all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl.
I then added a little hot water at a time to get it to drizzle consistency.
One Nigella tip I did take was to put a piece of paper under the tray to catch the drips. It makes cleaning up so much easier. Use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the cookies. They don’t need to cool completely before they’re drizzled.
Serve them with a cup of tea or after dinner coffee. Enjoy!
What about you? Was was summer (or winter if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere) all it promised to be? Are you looking forward to next season?
- 100g (3.5oz) soft butter
- 150g (5.3oz) brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 150g (5.3oz) plain AP flour
- 35g (1.3oz) cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 200g (7oz) dark chocolate chips (or you can mix it up with dark and milk chocolate)
- 75g (2.7oz) icing sugar
- 1 x 15ml tablespoon cocoa, sieved
- 2 x 15ml tablespoons boiling water
- ¼ tsp peppermint extract (I used peppermint essence)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C (320F) fan-forced and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- (All of these steps can be done by hand with a bit of muscle)
- In the bow of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until they are light and creamy then, with the motor running, add the egg and vanilla.
- Sift all the dry ingredients together and then, with the motor running, slowly add them to the bowl until they are mixed in.
- Remove the bowl from the stand and stir in the chocolate chips.
- Using a heaped teaspoon of dough at a time, spoon blobs of dough onto the lined trays leaving about 2cm between each one.
- Bake the cookies for 12 minutes then leave them to rest on the trays for 5 minutes.
- Transfer them to a wire rack.
- To make the choc-mint drizzle, combine all the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl or jug. Stir it all together and add a little extra boiling water at a time to get it to drizzle consistency.
- Place a piece of paper under the cooling rack to catch the drips and drizzle the cookies with the icing (they don't need to have cooled).
- Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.