Last night’s dinner was a flop. On paper, it looked great. On my plate? Not so much. And I didn’t see it coming– orange marmalade, rosemary, gruyere… these are all fabulous flavors. I guess the sum just wasn’t as good as it’s parts. C’est la vie!
But I’m not discouraged for two reasons. First, making flops is just a part of life. I am not any more successful in the kitchen than anyone else, but I tend to cook more than the average bear. That means better chance of making something totally awesome or totally gross solely based on numbers. It’s a statistics thing. (Somewhere the Booze Hound is smiling because statistics totally get him geeked. As do Patriot wins. Go Pats!)
So when the dreaded dinner flop occurs, we have a decision to make: is it completely inedible and warrants a back-up meal, like grilled cheese or frozen pizza? Or can we choke down enough of it to say we’ve eaten dinner and then gorge on dessert? The first rarely happens unless a recipe is burned or completely bolluxed up… in other words, Food Hound Error. But the second scenario of a dessert-heavy dinner? Ring-a-ding-ding!
In an effort to be able to cook and bake the rich foods we love and still forge elite fitness at CrossFit Ktown, we have really curtailed the regular dessert routine. Usually we either have some dark chocolate or go without. Oh yeah, and wine counts 🙂 But ’tis the season to be merry, and ’tis the season to be baking, so I usually have some sort of delectable baked good lurking on the counter this time of year. And this particular baked good was so lovely, we froze our entire flopped dinner (pork roast) for its future fate in Cuban sandwiches, and elected to eat dessert for dinner.
That’s right. We ate cookies for dinner. And washed them down with wine. If I’m gonna go, what a way to go!
The coffee, chocolate and mint flavors in these cookies are redolent of a Starbucks Peppermint Cafe Mocha. But the bonus is that you can make them at home and you don’t have to speak Starbucks. Grande means large, Starbucks, not medium– get it right!
The only change from the original recipe is that I roll them in sugar before baking instead of topping them with crushed peppermints after baking. Both add crunch, it’s just a matter of preference… and the fact that I didn’t have peppermints on hand 🙂 And make sure to use a good quality chocolate, since you’re drizzling it on top.
If you’re the Booze Hound, you ignore my explicit instructions on how to drizzle properly. This would be the result:
But I have to admit, his was the prized cookie with that mound of chocolate 🙂
Peppermint Mocha Cookies
Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen (posted originally as Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies; I swear this girl will inspire you to bake anything!!)
Yields 2 dozen cookies
2 1/2 c (16 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips (no more than 61% cacao), divided
1 1/2 c AP flour
1/4 c natural process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 large eggs
1 cup additional granulated sugar, for rolling
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a small, microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave on high power for 45 seconds. Stir. If unmelted pieces remain, continue microwaving and stirring the chocolate in 10-second intervals until it is all melted and smooth. Measure 2/3 c melted chocolate; transfer to a small bowl and reserve for drizzling.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add 1 c sugar and both extracts; beat until smooth. Add eggs, beat to blend. Beat in melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients; beat just to blend. Stir in remaining 1/2 c chocolate chips.
4. Spread remaining 1 c sugar on a plate. Roll a large tablespoon of dough into a 1 1/2″ ball and roll ball in sugar. Place on cookie sheet. Space each cooking about 2″ apart.
5. Bake cookies until cracked all over, about 8-9 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
6. Rewarm 2/3 c reserved melted chocolate and spoon into ziploc bag. Snip of the very tip of bag, and gently drizzle chocolate all over cookies. Enjoy 🙂