I am a ridiculous romantic, a fool for love.
As the The Troggs’ song goes:
I feel it in my fingers
I feel it in my toes
The love that’s all around me
And so the feeling grows
True love, soul mates, I believe in it all.
When my daughter reaches for my hand (“nobody not even the rain, has such small hands“*), when my son leans his sweet head on my shoulder, this is all true love.
Dawn snuggles with our cats, exuberant greetings from those stupid dogs that live next door. SO much love.
The yearning that stains my heart when I think of my island is the longing of lovers too long separated.
The dopey look I get when the sky crackles with summer rain and I call a friend to puddle dance with me. Love.
The hushing melody of snowfall and birdsong that leaves me gazing out the window at the Black Capped Chickadees like a besotted fool. Love.
So when Valentine comes around I plan to wake my sweet dance partner of 28 years with a kiss and a batch of these cookies, then I will drag him out of the house for a run in the cold. Cause I’m annoying that way.
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” -Louise Erdrich
If you are like me you will only use half of the peppermint filling and cookie dough and
eat the rest right from the freezer in little nibbles all week save the rest for another special occasion. I’ll let you in on a little secret: When I first made this pliant playdough-like mint dough I wasn’t pleased with the slightly off white color. Having in the past used a smidgen of blue to whiten polymer clays I pulled out my food coloring and added what I thought was a drop but actually turned out to be a ton. The dough went from off white to ionian blue in seconds. Oh well.
This recipe will make 24-30 cookies depending on the size of your cookie cutter.
What you have here is a thin crisp cocoa-i cookie, topped with a silky arctic minty blast all snuggled beneath some serious satiny dark chocolate. Each element comes together easily with few ingredients. These treats are more than the sum of their parts and it is only when they are assembled and you take that first bite that you will moan with pleasure.
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup vegan butter or shortning
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 3 tbsp aquafaba**
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp corn syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp non-dairy milk I used vanilla "creamer"
- 1-2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tbsp butter cut into small lumps.
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment. Put aside
Make the cookie dough: Sift together all 5 of the dry ingredients in a bowl and and add to the food processor. Give it a couple of pulses to mix them well.
Add the butter, non-dairy milk, aquafaba* and vanilla extract to the food processor and pulse until a cohesive dough forms. Form the cookie dough into 2 balls.
Roll each ball of dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment until you have an amoeba-ish rectangle that is 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with 2nd ball of dough (or refrigerate the 2nd ball and make another batch next week).
Allow the rolled out dough, still sandwiched in parchment, to rest in the fridge for one hour.
Remove one sheet of chilled dough from the fridge. Peel off the top layer of parchment and cut the dough into your desired shape with a cookie cutter.
Place cut out cookies on the prepared baking sheet with a good 3/4 inch spacing between cookies. Bake 12 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Making the patties: Sift 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients: corn syrup non-dairy milk, peppermint extract, butter, and vanilla. Mix well until you have a pliable dough.
Add a drop or 2 of food coloring. Mix to combine.
Roll out 1/2 the dough on a cutting board sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar to a depth of 1/4 inch.
Place board with rolled out dough in the fridge to stiffen up 20 minutes Remove from fridge and using the same cutter as you did for the cookies cut out your patties. Place the peppermint cut outs on the now cool cookies..
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with the 2 tablespoons coconut oil on a low setting stopping and stirring it every 30 seconds until melted.
Gently spoon the melty chocolate over each patty topped cookie until completely and coax the melted chocolate over the top of the mint and cookie. Allow to dry.
*E. E. Cummings
**Aquafaba is the liquid left over from cooking legumes. It was first discovered a french tenor named Joël Roessel. An american (at least I think he is american) named Goose Wohlt picked up the torch and furthered investigations into this magical liquid. It is seriously magical, the holy grail for vegans as they could suddenly whip up meringues and macaroons and use it in all sorts of innovative ways. There is a marvelous Facebook Group called Aquafaba (Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses!) They are an amazing, inclusive, helpful, innovative bunch of people. I highly recommend you check them out.