Darrell doesn’t often browse cook books. He’s pretty habitual about his food and knows what he likes. He makes only one cake, ever. No-one complains. He could easily market, sell, and reap a fortune off the four cookies in his regular repertoire if he ever had the inclination. He’d rather just eat them.
“I want to try something new,” he beamed. “And this…” he said tapping his finger pointedly on a recipe,”is just the one.”
He was on his feet riffling through the cupboard in search of a measuring cup and out the back door without missing a beat. The determination in his eye reminded me of our pup, Milo, when he’s picked up the scent of a chipmunk and is hot on its trail, nose to the ground. What choice was there but to grab my camera and tag along?
I followed him to the treeline where he carefully began picking spearmint leaves. “This recipe uses what we have growing right here. Fresh mint. These cookies will be awesome!”
Long a proponent of “use what you have” these would be a perfect fit for him. Since we were chicken sitting for our neighbors we garnered a few fresh eggs to add to the batter on our way back to the kitchen.
There was a glitch once he’d completed the familiar steps of mixing butter, sugar and eggs. I could see a bead of sweat forming on his brow and sense his growing exasperation as he chopped the mint. “How long does it take to chop a cup of mint???” he finally grumbled.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
I took a long slow sip of my coffee. “Does the recipe say a cup of chopped mint or one cup of mint, chopped?”
He paused. “Does it matter?”
I couldn’t help it. I smirked. He’s a former doctor remember who has spent more time in school than most people I know.
“It matters,” I said emphatically.
He stopped chopping and either recalculated his proportions or threw in some random amount. It was hard to tell. I briefly considered whether there was a reason he didn’t read many recipes. Did they confound him?
Regardless, the basic mint cookie turned out delicious: crisp and both buttery and minty. He conceded to the dunk into chocolate that was called for though we both knew it was mostly for me. He melted a few less chocolate chips thinking the amount called for a bit extreme and skipped the vegetable shortening.
His fingers got a little chocolatey in the process but all in all it was a success.
We’ve eaten two batches of them now and the prospects look pretty good that there will be another. The big question is really whether they’ll make it into his regular repertoire of favorites. My guess is they will.
Hope to see you around the bread bowl, or wandering around the mint patch, soon! The recipe below is adapted from Taste of Home’s: Best Loved Cookies and More.
Delicate Mint Thins
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk, room temperature if possible
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
3 T milk (he added almond milk instead)
1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (original recipe called for 1 2/3 cups)
*1 T. shortening (he omitted this)
Directions: Mix together butter and sugar using a fork. (The recipe suggested creaming but we found we liked them better hand mixed as they were more like a shortbread). Add egg yolk and vanilla.
Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add alternately with the milk to the butter mixture.
Stir in mint then shape into two 8-inch roles and cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours or until firm.
Remove to wire racks and cool completely.
Place on waxed paper and allow to set.
Looking for other great summer favorites? Try these!
Best Biscuits Ever (a great recipe for biscuits and berries)
Tastes Like Another Please (frozen peanut butter chocolate bliss!) I