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Chocolate Mint Shortbreads

Chocolate Shortbread: In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and beat just until a dough forms.

Divide the dough in half. Smooth and shape each half of the dough into an evenly shaped rectangle that is about 8 1/2 inches (21.5 cm) long and 2.5 inches (7 cm) wide. Then wrap the shaped logs in plastic wrap or parchment or wax paper, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least three hours, or up to three days. (The logs can also be frozen for about two months. If freezing, it is best to defrost the logs in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and baking.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) with the rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick cookies. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 15 -18  minutes, or until the cookies are dry and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Mint Ganache: Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring just to a boil (you can also do this step in the microwave). Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let the chocolate sit for a few minutes then stir to combine. Stir in the peppermint extract. Set aside to let the ganache completely cool and become thick enough to spread, about two hours.

To Assemble Cookies: Take one chocolate shortbread and spread a small tablespoon of the ganache on the flat side of the cookie. Top with a second shortbread, flat side down, and press gently so the ganache spreads to the edges of the sandwich cookie. Repeat with the remaining shortbread cookies. Can be stored in a container at room temperature for several days or they can be frozen.

Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.

Chocolate Shortbreads:

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, regular unsweetened or Dutch-processed

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

1 cup (225 grams) butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon (5 grams) pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Mint Ganache:

6 ounces (170 grams) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 1 cup (170 grams) chocolate chips)

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract or 1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint oil

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