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I found this kind of cookie in the bakery around Christmas time. I liked them so much! I took some home to my family, and they did not share my enthusiasm for them, but that evening I had a caroling party at my house, and my guests loved them, and couldn't believe that I hadn't made them. So, I got busy looking for a recipe. While, quickly discovering that there are a ton of recipes out there for peppermint chocolate chip cookies, I couldn't seem to find one that did not have a lot of salt in them, or GMOs, until I ran across this recipe. It has just the right amount of everything. My family doesn't really like peppermint that much, at least, not enough to have it in a cookie, but they do like the chocolate taste with the coffee, and yes, even though they are grown, my girls still pick the stuff out of the cookies that they don't like! So, don't feel alone!
Anyway, a little Italian coffee with these cookies is excellent–really brings out the richness.
Crushing Peppermint Candy
Peppermint candy can be hard to crush in a mortar and pestle, because it's kind of sticky, and is very sensitive to the environment. Let the air get a little humid, and it gets sticky. The best way to crush peppermint candy is to put it in a freezer bag, because it's tougher, and peppermint can leave shards like glass.
So, you're going to want to put a towel over the bag, and gently tap with a hammer until it is sufficient!y crushed. There are other ways, but that is the best way with least mess. It only takes about two to three candy canes, or about six or seven peppermint discs to make enough for this recipe.
Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
1 package, 6 oz, semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugars, butter, shortening, egg, and vanilla.
Stir in remaining ingredients, including the crushed peppermint candy.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an un-greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake until light brown 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.
The beauty of this is that this is not your regular cup of coffee like you wait in line for at the drive-thru. This is to be sipped, and enjoyed slowly, to ponder the day's events. It should be a relaxing experience, not a gulp of hot sludge just to get you through the morning!
This is coffee at its finest, to be appreciated for texture, and full-bodied richness. Something to have maybe after a nice meal, like when men go out on the porch and have cigars. I'm not suggesting that you smoke while drinking this, but just merely making an observation of the comparison.
The rich texture that I speak of is particularly present when you kick back with one of the before mentioned peppermint chocolate chip cookies. It really brings out the richness of the peppermint and chocolate together, and totally melts in your mouth. Words cannot describe what I am saying. You just have to try it. There is nothing quite like this. However, there are different variations of the recipe of which I only have one. But, it is still delightful just the same.
The Cortado Recipe
A Cortado is a coffee beverage consisting of espresso, and a sort of, equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acid in the coffee. The milk is steamed, but not frothed, and this gives it texture as is the case in most Italian coffee.
2 shots espresso
Steamed milk, same amount as the coffee
1/4 oz vanilla syrup
1/4 oz honey syrup
Brew a double shot of espresso.
Steam the milk. Add in the vanilla, and honey syrups to the coffee, and mix it up. Add the milk into the coffee/syrup mixture.
This video I found on You tube is cool, and pretty self explanatory about showing, hands on, how to make a Cortado. I especially like the end where it slows the video speed down, so that you can see the technique of pouring the milk, and making the design. Something that I, myself, am still working on.
I don't know about you, but steaming milk was the scariest thing I have ever had to learn. I can't tell you how many times I have burned, no, scalded myself trying to steam milk with my little espresso maker.
It depends on the machine you have; the amount of trouble or wierd-ness you will have with it. But, I'm here to tell you that I understand your pain all too well, my friend! My espresso machine has a little rubber boot on the end of the steaming wand, which serves absolutely no purpose other than to make a mess, and make you reach into your pocket for money to buy ointment, and bandaids. I was told, by one of my friends, to take the rubber boot off. The big expensive machines don't even come with them. It's just so much easier without it. Once I did that there were no more worries.
How to Steam Milk
Now, I found this amazing video, if you are as scared as I was, and got burned a few times too many, and decided to throw in the towel, have faith, watch this video. It will make you regain confidence in yourself to pull yourself up by your boot straps, and show that espresso machine who's boss!