‘Tis the season for peppermint candy – often made with artificial flavoring and food-colored with bright red stripes. This year, try something different and bake with fresh mint. The end result is just as minty, but tastes more natural. If you’ve ever had a drink with muddled fresh mint (like a mojito), that is the sort of taste you can expect when you bake with fresh mint.
My white chocolate and fresh mint brown butter cookies (they really need a shorter name) snap when you break them in half and melt in your mouth when you eat them. If you aren’t told what flavor they are in advance, they hit you with a huge surprise. By looking at them, you would never expect their minty flavor punch with the rich complexity of the browned butter.
I got the idea of baking with fresh mint from this book. The book contained a recipe for a fresh mint, white chocolate, and cashew cookie. While that cookie sounds spectacular, I realized that I’ve gone a little nuts with nuts on this Cookie Project (there are quite a few nut cookies coming up). So, I thought I’d pass on the nuts for this one. I ended up basing my cookie on another cookie recipe from this book called Amuse. It’s a white chocolate, coconut, and fresh basil cookie. I opted out of the coconut, replaced the butter with browned butter, and I steeped brown butter with fresh mint (a technique that I learned from Baker Betty) instead of using chopped basil. (View on Amazon)
Cookies For Grown-Ups takes the prize for the most unique recipes in a cookie book that I’ve seen. This is the book for the baker with an adventurous side. Empty Nest (banana, cardamom, and dried chili), Infuse (black olive, orange, and fennel), and Cha-Cha (dried cherry, oatmeal, cocoa, and chipotle pepper) are the three recipes that immediately follow Amuse in the book. Every recipe is that unique. This is not the kind of book that everyone wants, but it’s definitely my favorite kind of book. I absolutely love it! [/apcd]
White Chocolate and Fresh Mint Brown Butter Cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves loosely packed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg white
- 4 ounces white chocolate melted
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Melt butter with mint leaves over medium heat in a small skillet or heavy-bottomed pot.
- Continue to heat the butter, stirring periodically, until it turns brown (10-15 minutes). The butter will first boil with big bubbles (it's not done then). Then, the bubbles will get smaller and the whole thing will look more brown (that's when it's done).
- Remove butter from heat and strain the mint leaves out. Press the butter out of the them as best you can. Don't worry if you don't get it all - it's impossible You only need 1/2 cup of the mint-flavored butter in the cookies.
- Cool the butter to room temperature - about thirty minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix mint butter (there should be about 1/2 cup) and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in egg white and white chocolate.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture a little bit at a time until just combined.
- Place teaspoon-sized balls of dough about 1 1/2 inches apart on a parchment- or Silpat-lined cookie sheet. The dough will be a little crumbly, so just push it together with your hands if you need to.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
- Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.