Monday, April 09, 2007

The Andes (Mint) Mountain

Until recently, the Cinnabon in the mall made yummy smoothie beverages. The flavors included Andes Mint, Cinnamon, and (I think) Toffee. They were discontinued last week, probably because they were too labor-intensive for their typical staffing level. So the management were left with the smoothie ingredients they had already ordered but hadn't yet used, and they needed to dispose of them somehow. One highly efficient way to dispose of anything edible is to give it to me, so I was gifted with a five-pound box of Andes Mint chips. I opened the package when I got it home, and it was a beautiful sight. I was good and only ate a spoonful right out of the box; the rest I'm saving for baking. For Easter yesterday I made a big batch of cookies, the recipe somewhat made up as I went along. I was pleased with the result. They were good, and not too minty; the chocolate dough really adds to the flavor, and they look nice too. Here's the recipe:

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup light butter
1 cup butter-flavored Crisco
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups Andes Mint chips
1 bag chocolate chips

Cream together light butter, Crisco, and sugars; beat until fluffy. At this stage you can't overdo the mixing. Add eggs and vanilla, beat again. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined, do not overmix. Stir in Andes Mint chips and chocolate chips. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons (or a #40 ice cream scoop) onto ungreased baking sheets; flatten the dough slightly. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Let sit on baking sheet 5 minutes, then move to paper towels. Do not store until completely cool.
If you're so unlucky that you don't have friends who work at Cinnabon, you can still try the recipe. They actually sell Andes Mint chips in the chocolate-chip aisle of grocery stores (and 1 3/4 cups is roughly one bag), but the only place I can find them locally is at Wal-Mart. So I'm glad I have them in bulk now. If you can't find them, you can make your own; put two packages of Andes Mints in the freezer, unwrap them while still cold, and break them up with a meat tenderizer.

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