I’ll be the first to laugh and point out how Christmas merchandise is out earlier and earlier every year. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw some on the upper shelves at BJ’s in early August and couldn’t resist snapping a photo and sharing it on Facebook to illustrate the absurdity of the situation. With that in mind, it would seem somewhat silly that I am participating in a Christmas sweets round-up that begins before the end of September. There is a method to the madness, I assure you.
Christmas baking requires planning. Especially if you’re the sole source of goodies for the table at the Christmas day feast. If you’re going to take on an enormous task like this, you’ll want to start your baking early, spacing it out so you’re not frazzled by the demands you’ve put upon yourself in coming through on such a challenge. That’s not to say you should bake today; cookies can be frozen, but I wouldn’t recommend stashing them more than a month if you’re going to serve them to people you actually like. Then again, maybe that’s your plan because you really don’t like baking all the desserts for Christmas. In that case, more power to you; get to work today. But for the rest of us, that means you’re going to start your stash somewhere around Thanksgiving.
So why now, when we haven’t even passed Halloween yet? Again, planning. Ever wander through foodgawker or pinterest, hoping something will catch your eye but you’re in one of those moods where nothing is calling to you? You don’t want this to happen when it counts! Look through what we’re baking now, bookmark the stuff you like, and once you’re ready to start the holiday bake-a-rama, you’ll have a game plan already laid out. One less thing to worry about.
So, time to wrap my head around the fact that Christmas will be here before we know it. And hopefully some snow, as well. When I think of snow, I think of minty treats. The cool, refreshing taste of mint perfectly mimics stepping out into a crisp, white morning, taking a deep breath, inhaling the essence of winter itself. Ahhhh… This is an updated version of what I’ve made in the past, utilizing the new (to me) Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips. If you can’t find them, you can always chop up the real deal and use those instead.
- ¾ cup (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter
- 1½ cups brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 large eggs
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 10-oz package Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips
- In a large sauce pan, melt the butter, brown sugar, and water. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips until melted. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the chocolate mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Slowly add to chocolate mixture, mixing until just incorporated.
- Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the Andes Crème de Menthe Baking Chips.
- Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a medium cookie scoop, portion out the dough on the cookie sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Don't worry if they don't look all the way done when you take them out; they finish baking outside the oven. Leave on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Welcome to the 12 Weeks of Christmas! It will be a delicious journey!