Chocolate and mint with almond flour, honey, eggs, and butter bake into just-sweet-enough cookies that satisfy in a healthy way. These chocolate mint cookies melt in your mouth. You would never guess they are gluten-free.
You can take the girl out of the bakery, but you can’t take the bakery out of the girl. After all, desserts were my life for 30 years. White sugar flowed freely through my fingers. That is until last fall, when I retired as Deer Valley pastry chef. Leaving the decadence behind, that’s what I thought. Not so. I love sweets.
These days, when my sweet tooth is hungry, I feed it differently. My goal is to adapt and create dessert recipes to be healthful, and still satisfy one’s craving for confection. Like these not-too-sweet chocolate mint cookies.
Feel good about eating these cookies–semi-sweet chocolate comes with some of dark chocolate’s anti-oxidant flavonoid benefits. Relish how fresh mint leaves from the garden infuse mint liqueur, to yield a homemade natural extract with subtle mint flavor.
In case you were thinking my head’s buried in the flour bin, it’s not. I know–chocolate manufacturers add sugar to make semi-sweet chocolate, and mint liqueur is, well, sugar. I’m pulling my head out just to say that chocolate and mint liqueur are the essence of these cookies. And high quality butter and eggs are right where they belong.
The original chocolate mint cookie recipe comes from the now out of print cookbook, Desserts, by Nancy Silverton. We started making them at Deer Valley when the book came out in 1986, and they’ve been a DV bakery staple ever since.
Nancy’s chocolate mint cookies get rolled in granulated sugar first, and then powdered sugar. In the oven, they crack just enough to reveal dark chocolate under bright white sugar coating. For a similar crackle look, theese cookie dough balls get rolled in almond flour.
Baking is in my blood–I guess once a pastry chef, always a pastry chef. What’s new is more vegan and gluten-free treats, and desserts with natural sweeteners, the likes of maple syrup, honey, agave and dates. I’m moving decadence in a different direction, one bite at a time.
How’s your sweet tooth? Have you baked anything wonderful lately?
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When mint overruns the garden, or you find it in your CSA box, make these cookies. Robbie prefers his frozen, so we store them in an airtight container in the freezer--just like chocolate mint Girl Scout cookies.
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (see note)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
- ½ cup crème de menthe liqueur or peppermint schnapps
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 ¼ cups oat flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Real Salt
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup honey
- Almond flour, as needed for rolling
- Melt the chocolate and the butter in the top of a double boiler, over gently boiling water; upper pan should not touch water. Keep warm.
- Blend the mint liqueur and the leaves in blender. Transfer the liquid to a saucepan and bring almost to a boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep at least 15 minutes.
- Strain, pressing as much liquid as possible through the sieve. Discard mint leaves.
- Stir the mint liquid into the chocolate and butter.
- Using a whisk, stir the almond flour, oat flour, baking powder and salt until you are sure the baking powder and salt are evenly dispersed.
- Whip the eggs and honey with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy and lighter in color.
- Mix melted chocolate and mint mixture into the eggs. Add flour mixture, stirring until well combined.
- Transfer to pan—e.g. a 9 x 13 inch pan. Cover and chill until cold.
- Scoop the dough into 1-inch balls using a teaspoon or a #100 ice cream scoop.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Ideally, chill again. (see note)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Put about ½ cup of almond flour in a small bowl. Five or so at a time, drop the balls into the bowl. Jiggle so the balls move around and are coated with the almond flour.
- Arrange the balls about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet.
- 55% to 65% cacao chocolate is good range.
- Be sure to chill the dough before scooping. When the dough is cold, scoop it into round balls, like truffles. If the dough is not cold you’ll have a sticky mess all over your hands.
- You can freeze unbaked dough balls for another time. Once frozen, transfer to a recloseable zipper bag. Roll them in the almond flour and bake when the cookie urge strikes!