05 March 2008

Using Up Christmas Kisses

If you are anything like me, you purchase an insane amount of cookie-baking ingredients around the holidays. Something a little more unusual about me? I don't really like chocolate as a snack. I completely ignore the left over chocolates from Christmas. Of course, if you leave a bag of potato chips at my house, just assume it will be eaten in approximately 4.7 minutes. I am a salty snacker. So this means I try to avoid buying easy-to-eat salty snacks, but I am almost always supplied with chocolate. I am trying to use up some of my left over Christmas candy before I am inundated with Easter candy. I already have extra Easter M & M's hanging out looking for a home in a cookie!

I was looking for a creative way to use up some funky Hershey's Kisses I bought before Christmas - I have three varieties that need homes: Hot Chocolate (or Cocoa or something), Candy Cane Mint and Mint Truffle. I believe these were all limited edition holiday flavors, so I don't know if you can still find them. I am sure they will be around next December. I didn't really want to do the traditional peanut butter blossom style cookie - mint and peanut butter are not a match made in heaven! Chocolate and mint, however, are a beautiful pair. Perfect for each other and for my friend who is still having a rough time. In fact her favorite candy is Junior Mints, so I figured I would experiment and create a cookie with similar flavors. It was a win-win situation, I could give some cookies to my friend and take some to work so my co-workers don't feel neglected and not be tempted to keep any at home and eat them. I love having lots of willing baked-goods-recipients.

I think these cookies could be tweaked a bit. I am not sure how to make them less flat; I think the Kiss would look cuter in a chubbier cookie (like a peanut butter blossom). Although the cookie on its own, without the Kiss on top is fantastic! I ate one without a Kiss fresh from the oven. In the future, I think I would like to use this recipe to make a sandwich cookie. I would probably use a smaller scoop and sandwich an Andes Mint between two cookies while they were still warm. Or use them to make ice cream sandwiches with mint-chocolate-chip ice cream. Yummy. My most important cookie rule - they stay soft and chewy (maybe slightly fudgey) after 24 hours!

So any suggestions for those Hot Cocoa flavor Kisses?!?

Adapted from GardenGuides Chocolate Mint Cookies

Josie's Chocolate Mint Kiss Cookies
3/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed

2 tablespoons milk

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used good quality Ghirardelli, I think it would be good with bittersweet chocolate next time)

2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

48 Hershey's Kisses - Mint Truffle or Candy Cane Mint flavor, unwrapped

Melt butter, add chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and stir until chips are completely melted. Pour into large bowl. Add brown sugar and milk and cool slightly. At high speed, beat in eggs one at a time. Add the mint extract. Reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients. Stir until blended. Chill dough.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into small balls (about 1 teaspoon per ball). Place 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes. Leave the cookies on parchment paper, but transfer to a cooling rack. Place one Kiss on top of each cookie. Let cool completely before storing (this can take over an hour since the Kiss partially melts into the cookie).


RecipeGirl said...

They look yummy. If you want the kiss to stay firm, you might try pressing it into the cookie and then immediately sticking your cookie sheet into the freezer. Then it won't melt into the cookie!

cmk and mdz said...

Hey Josie. I love your blog! I made the emergency chocolate cupcakes last night. They were delicious and a big hit! I miss cooking with you. I'm going to to try your Spanish Rice this week (that is, if I can find the Spanish Chorizo). I'll let you know how it turns out. Chris

Josie said...

Lori- thank you so much for the advice about the freezer. I had a "duh" moment when I read your comment - like why the heck didn't I think of that :)

Chris- thank you for visiting!!! :) I will send you some Spanish chorizo if you can't find it! Or maybe I will just bring you some. I swear I will come visit someday (and I could use that Rocky Mountain Vacation right about now...)

cmk and mdz said...

Okay, just bring the chorizo! The mountains are beautiful in the spring time....you're always welcome. Hope to see or talk to you soon.