There are some family recipes that you sometimes have to make, just for the hell of it. This is especially the case when the person is no longer living and/or you have not seen them for a long period of time. Something about making these recipes brings them closer and warms the heart with memories of time spent in the kitchen, reminiscing over learning how to make this recipe that you now hold near and dear to your heart. These mint chocolate chip cookies are that for me. Since my father passed away in 2009, I have found myself turning to this particular cookie recipe more than anything else that he made (which was quite a bit, since he loved to cook and bake). I think what is so special about these cookies is that they were the recipe he was “famous” for and were a staple of any event that we went to where we had to bring food. I remember even one time that he put green food coloring in them and sent them with me as “poison” cookies in 4th grade-needless to say, I came home with most of the cookies that day 🙂
Nowadays, these cookies can only be made around Christmastime because that’s the only time of year that major baking chip companies (Nestle, Hershey’s, etc) make the mint chips. Growing up, Nestle always had mint chocolate chips available and then one day they disappeared! If I recall correctly, my parents inquired about it only to discover that these mint chips would only be available during the holiday season, which was extremely disappointing. That is still the case today and after many variations of mint chocolate chips, Hershey’s finally has made a bag of purely dark mint chocolate chips, which are the closest to the original Nestle type that I have found (no Nestle, your green mint chip/dark chocolate chip combo bag does not suffice for me!). So this year, I was even more pumped up to make these cookies. The first batch turned out not so great (I did not let the butter get soft enough), but luckily tasted fine and was perfect for crumbling over ice cream. However, the second batch I made was perfect for taking pictures of and for sending off to my uncle in Virginia for his Christmas present. I encourage everyone to make these cookies if you come across a bag of mint chocolate chips because they are a beautiful take on the classic chocolate chip cookie!
Cooking Notes: The most crucial thing to getting these cookies right is the butter. It has to be room temperature or softer before being mixed-otherwise it will destroy the shape of the cookie while baking. It also is extremely important not to melt the butter, because it will also destroy the shape of the cookies with gooey butter going everywhere.
Bob’s Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes ~7 dozen)
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
12 oz. mint chocolate chip pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix shortening, butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla and peppermint. Stir in remaining ingredients, folding in chips last. Roll into tall balls before placing on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to complete cooling. Enjoy with milk!