I’m upright! I finally – after four days – figured out I had been doing everything exactly wrong – heat instead of ice, and lying on my back – which I thought meant taking it easy but wound up being about the most painful position I could be in. At 4:30 am I decided I wasn’t in any more pain sitting in a chair at my desk – and less so, in fact – and so I did. And here are the photos from Saturday’s cookie party! Sorry I’m so tardy.
There were peanut butter balls! Two kinds! I had bought the ingredients, and was bummed that I didn’t get around to making some. I didn’t even have to. There were salted brownies, too.
It was awesome. I mean, completely. A house full of friends and cookies, bubbly pink moscato, ‘nog, simmering cider – Carol brought her big coffee urn and sliced fresh oranges into the top, along with cinnamon sticks and other whole spices, and put apple juice in the bottom. It percolated through the spices and orange and was fab.
She was also on rosette duty, standing at the stove with iron, oil and batter, cranking out the crispy cookies as people arrived. I had, you won’t be surprised to hear, just started cooking them as the doorbell rang. They’re best freshly cooked – having a Carol around helps.
We nibbled and chatted and as it was time to go, people filled containers – or ice cream buckets – with treats. It was like trick-or-treating for grown-ups. And not scary at all.
I’m sure I’ve missed some, there were so many, and no two alike. I’ve been subsisting on cookies and reheated apple cider for four days. It wasn’t bad timing.
To take a stab at your own version of those chocolate-mint Girl Guide cookies, just sandwich an After Eight mint between two warm chocolate sugar cookies, or simply set one on top (open-faced) and let it fuse to the warm cookie. To streamline the process, use a log of icebox cookie dough – round or flattened on the sides so that they slice into squares.
After Eight Sandwich Cookies
These crunchy chocolate sandwiches are made by squishing an After Eight chocolate covered mint between two square chocolate cookies while they are still warm from the oven.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp. canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla or peppermint extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
15 After Eight mints
In a large bowl, beat butter, oil and sugar with an electric mixer until well combined. Add egg and vanilla and beat for a minute, until smooth and light.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to the sugar mixture and stir by hand just until you have a soft dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or until well chilled.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll the dough out between two sheets of waxed paper or on a surface very lightly dusted with a combination of flour and sugar until it’s 1/8”–1/4” thick. Using a knife, cut cookies into squares roughly the same size as After Eight mints. Reroll the scraps once to get as many cookies as possible.
Place the cookies an inch apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until set. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, place an After Eight mint between two cookies while they are still quite warm, squeeze a little to help the chocolate melt to the cookies, and set on a wire rack to cool.
Makes 20 sandwich cookies.
Per cookie: 107 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 1.4 g monounsaturated fat, 0.4 g polyunsaturated fat), 18 g carbohydrates, 17 mg cholesterol, 1.7 g protein, 1.2 g fiber. 32% calories from fat