Mint and chocolate is a winning combination, but mint can be a tricky ingredient to work with. This is because it has such a strong flavor that it can easily overwhelm the other elements in a recipe. One solution is to cut back slightly on the mint and to pair it with other strong flavors – like dark chocolate or cocoa – so that you get a balanced result where you can taste both the mint and the other elements of your recipe. These Mint Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Walnuts are just the thing if you want a hint of mint in with your chocolate.
The way I get that hint-of-mint flavor into these cookies is that I add chopped up mint chocolate, meaning chocolate bars that are flavored with mint. Good examples of this are Andes Mints (which are also sold as baking chips), the Lindt Excellence Intense Mint Bar (yum!), and Ghirardelli MMint Bliss, as well as other chocolates that are flavored with mint. Using these chocolate bars ensures that I get even more chocolate flavor into the cookies and just the right amount of mint, without overwhelming the rest of a recipe. It’s easy to go overboard with peppermint extracts can do if you’re not careful, but using just a 1/4 teaspoon and dark chocolate chips will make a good substitute if you can’t find a mint chocolate bar to chip up and add to your cookies.
The cookies are fudgy and brownie-like (and can be even more brownie-like if you underbake them by a minute), with a tender center and a slight chew to them. They get most of their richness from unsweetened cocoa powder, which gives them an intense, dark chocolate flavor that makes them feel very indulgent. The hint of mint in the cookies lightens up that chocolate taste a little bit, and the additions of walnuts add just enough texture and crunch. These cookies have been a hit every time I’ve served them: just a bit different from your usual chocolate cookie but with a satisfying chocolate punch.
Hint of Mint Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Walnuts
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups mint chocolate (such as Andes or a dark chocolate mint candy bar), coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one by one, followed by vanilla extract. Stir flour mixture in until cookie dough is well combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in chopped mint chocolate and walnuts.
Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet, allowing some room for the cookies to spread.
Bake for 8-11 minutes, just until the cookies are set around the edges.
Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.