Andes Mint Brookies
If you are a sucker for chocolate and mint, this is the recipe for you. This is my all time favorite Christmas Cookie. Because they freeze so well, this is a great cookie to make ahead when you know you won't have a lot of time leading up to an event, but want a tasty dessert to bring or serve. They are even tasty when they are still half frozen!
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Andes Mint Brookies
2 cups chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk are fine)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 TBSP water
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup Andes Mint baking chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1 candy cane (optional)
First step is to melt the butter. You can use a saucepan on low heat- or if you're lazy like me- the microwave. Then you add the sugar, water and chocolate chips. Heat up again (in the saucepan or) in 30 second increments stirring in between, just until chocolate is melted.
Cool for about 10 minutes (if you're using a saucepan, put in a large mixing bowl at this point). Add eggs and dry ingredients. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Grab a jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with edges) or a large pizza pan. Press dough evenly into the pan.
Bake at 350 for about 10- 12 minutes.
After removing from oven, sprinkle all but about half of a tablespoon of Andes mints over the top. Let them melt for a just a few minutes. While these are melting, grab your white chocolate chips and melt them in a saucepan or microwave (about two 30 second increments in my microwave is perfect, stirring in between).
With a butter knife or rubber spatula, go back to your brookies and spread the melty, minty goodness all over the surface. Then drizzle with melted white chocolate. Finish off by sprinkling with remaining Andes Mint chips.
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You can also crush up a candy cane and sprinkle on top if desired. If I'm craving this recipe and I'm out of Andes Mint Chips, sometimes I just do the white chocolate and candy cane together- but I really think the Andes Mint is the best. There are also Andes Mint Peppermint chips. They are great, but I like the smoothness of the spearmint better than the peppermint.
For the story behind the cookies, keep reading below!!
When our family was still in its young beginnings and living in California, I felt like we were trying out every pet that was out there. We had 2 kids and one on the way, 2 rabbits, a dog, and fish (here and there- those fish never lasted very long and I realized I am not a tank cleaning person). So naturally, when my friend offered us her desert tortoise- why not?? She had two of them at the time, and the one tortoise kept flipping the other one over to leave sprawling on it's back before someone would kindly come to the rescue and flip it back. My friend, tiring of the constant aggression, offered for us to come meet the damsel in distress and if we liked her, take her home with us.
While we were meeting our new family member, my friend brought out the most amazing cookies. Andes Mint Cookies. This friend is the kind of hostess that always seems to have delicious things ready to go for instant company. These cookies she pulled straight out of her freezer (because you never know when you'll have company, right? I still need to learn from her example and be this organized!!), and she maybe microwaved them for a couple seconds, but they were chewy and delightful! I couldn't believe they could be so amazing when they hadn't been freshly baked that day. The cookies became a new family favorite, especially around the holidays.
Of late (if you can't tell from all my other posts lately), my kids have been into those huge pizza style cookies. I though this would be a great one to try that way- and oh my!! They are even more soft and chewy and nice when they are made brownie style in a large pan.
Anyway- back to the turtle. That lovely desert tortoise ended up being the best pet we ever had. It would just peruse the back yard and chomp on the grass, or some things in the garden. We never had to feed it!! Every so often she would come knocking on the back door and we'd give her some lettuce or strawberries, but she was pretty self sufficient. The other amazing thing, is she would hibernate all winter! We'd have to keep an eye on her, or she'd dig a huge hole in the back yard and creep in there where we couldn't get her and stay put for months. When she would do this we always worried she'd emerge on the other side of our fence or something in the spring. So we learned we needed to snatch her up before she disappeared. We'd put her in a box and she'd sleep in our garage for months.
I was ready to will this lovely tortoise to my kids after I die, and have her in our family forever. Until one sad day she must have gotten into the ant bait. I found her dead in the backyard and all our hearts were broken. We have never had another tortoise since, but we dream of the day it might happen again. So every time I make these cookies, I think of my wonderful friend who introduced me to the Andes mint and chocolate deliciousness, and how sweet she was to give us our favorite pet.
So in honor or our fabulous friend and terrific turtle- let's cheer up and drown our sorrows in chocolate and mint, shall we??