It might surprise you to know that many of what we consider classic recipes – those that have been passed down in our families - were actually winners in annual Pillsbury Bake-off contests that have been held since 1949. My Grandma Niederhauser had a green cut-glass jar with a screw top lid that was often filled with her delicious Mint Cookies. Even as a child, I could (and did) eat dozens of these cookies, and it wasn’t until sometime in the 70’s that I learned that Grandma’s recipe was an adaptation of a second place winner in the first Pillsbury Bake-off, Starlight Mint Surprise Cookies.
The original mints that were used in these cookies haven’t been available for years, and in the recipe on the Official Pillsbury Web Site they have made the substitution of crème-de-menthe candies; these are okay, but not anything like the original. Many restaurant and/or specialty chocolate suppliers carry small mint flavored chocolate discs that are almost identical to the original mints (I believe Wilton also makes them), and I prefer them because they are just like my Grandma used. The original cookies had a walnut half on each cookie, which my Grandma omitted; I don’t use the walnut either, since I think it overpowers the butter and mint flavors in the cookie.
If I haven’t seen my kids for a while, all I have to do is send a text to their phones telling them that I have mint cookies and they suddenly find a reason to stop by. These cookies aren’t fancy, but they are addictive, and they seem to get better if they sit for a day or two so that the mint flavor permeates the buttery cookie. They also freeze well.
About 75 Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
75 3/4" diameter chocolate mint wafers
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy; add eggs, water, and vanilla.
- Beat well.
- Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a fine strainer over the butter mixture; shake the strainer so that the dry ingredients sift through. Alternately, mix the dry ingredients and add them to the butter mixture. Mix well.
- Refrigerate the dough about an hour (or freeze for 15 minutes) until the mixture is easy to handle.
- Scoop teaspoonful-size balls of dough, press a mint in the center, and fold the dough over the mint to fully enclose it.
- Press the cookie between hands into a flat round and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Transfer to cooling racks, and when cool, store in an airtight container.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 61 Calories from Fat 27
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 44% Protein 5% Carb. 51%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 3 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Sodium 54 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 1%