The best cookies I had all year—and I eat a lot of cookies—were Andrea Bemis' Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies from her book Dishing Up the Dirt. Their texture is the ideal amalgam of crispy and soft—a defined crust with visible veins of tenderness—but it is their underlying flavor that makes them true winners.
To begin, you melt the butter with a heap of fresh mint. (Melted butter makes for denser, chewier cookies; melted butter also means no waiting for dang butter to soften!) The butter turns amber while the mint releases its fragrance and flavor. When the cookies come out of the oven, they have all the toastiness of brown butter, but with an herbal aroma that makes them particularly apt for pairing with spring and summer fruit. —Sarah Jampel
stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
tightly packed, freshly chopped mint
packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups
(180 grams) flour
finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
(heaping) chopped chocolate (whatever kind you'd like)
Add the butter and mint to a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mint is very fragrant. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Press the mint with a spatula or the back of a spoon to release all of that butter! Add the sugars and mix on medium-low speed until creamy and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix until completely combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger, if using. Add to the bowl of the stand mixer and mix on low until just combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate, then scoop onto a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a disc, and chill for 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 350° F and line two sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, rolling each into a ball. Space 6 balls on each cookie sheet (the cookies will spread), then bake for 11 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.