Try This Outstanding Peppermint Cookie Recipe

I like the taste of peppermint, but candies that contain the flavor can be overwhelming. The most important thing to know about peppermint is that less is more. That is, a little bit of peppermint goes a very long way. Even the smallest bottle of peppermint extract should last you quite a long time. Years ago I got some colorless candy extracts that are very concentrated, so just 3-4 drops of the flavoring comes through loud and clear.

Peppermint is as aggressive in the garden as it is on your taste buds. It thrives in wet moist climates and should be kept in containers to avoid becoming invasive. If you do plant this herb in your garden, surround it with buried eight inch boards to keep it from spreading and plant it near cabbage to keep away certain insects.

Peppermint is often paired with chocolate and for good reason. It gives chocolate a cooler and more sophisticated taste. I like putting a few drops in my chocolate chip cookies. Around the holidays I crush red and green candy canes and use the colorful peppermint-flavored sugar crystals to top off an iced cookie that may taste or look a little too bland. I’ve even created what I call a mint blondie, a bar recipe that was originally flavored with orange zest, but tastes equally good with half of a teaspoon of mint extract as a substitution. You can create your own variations by adding it to brownies or other favorite chocolate desserts.

The following recipe can be used as a base cookie for almost any flavor you enjoy. If you have extracts that have been sitting around a while, feel free to use them in place of the mint. Start with half a teaspoon and increase or decrease the amount based on how you like it. This recipe produces a very white cookie and thus lends itself to decoration. Mix in small, candy-coated chocolates for a different twist on the chocolate chip cookie or dip the balls of dough into colored sugars before baking. The recipe makes about 20 cookies, but it is easily doubled to make more.

Heat your over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a cookie sheet. Parchment paper works well also. On the stovetop heat ½ cup of whole milk in a pan just to the boiling point. Pour the milk into a mixing bowl and after it has cooled add 2/3 of a cup of sugar, 1½ teaspoons of corn oil, ¼ teaspoon of baking powder and 4 drops of peppermint candy flavoring or ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract. Add 1½ cups of flour and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir it until smooth and make 1-inch balls or drop by a cookie scoop. Don’t let the cookies brown.

Peppermint is a great herb and is more pungent and peppery than spearmint. It can be used in non-baking foods like sauces and as a popular herbal tea. Try it in jellies or salsas and pair it with coconut, chile peppers, rosemary or tomatoes. It has many culinary uses and should not be limited to just toothpaste, mouthwashes, gum and hard candies.