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Chocolate Mint Cookies

Based on the Korova cookies* from Pierre Hermes in Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets, but these are adjusted to accomodate the mint, because I needed that this week

Sheets ungreased or lined         Oven 325 degrees F        Time 12 minutes
1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil** or 2-4 teaspoons peppermint extract (to your taste preference:  I like my mint STRONG)

Mill together:*
  320 grams soft white wheat flour
4 teaspoons dried peppermint leaves
8 long peppers or 12 black peppercorns

2 1/3 cups soft wheat pastry flour or unbleached all purpose flour
4 teaspoons dried peppermint leaves, crushed or rubbed as finely as you can
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda

10 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into bits

Cream the butter, and then beat inthe sugar and salt until smooth.

Sift the flour, cocoa and soda together and stir into the above, until just mixed.  Add the chocolate and stir gently just until they're spread through the dough.

Take about 1/4 of the dough and roll into a log 1 to 2 inches in diameter (depends on how large you want the cookies).  Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for an hour or up to a couple of days in the fridge, or longer in the freezer).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Slice about 1/4 inch thick, and give them a little room to spread (about an inch between them).  Bake on an ungreased baking sheet or better yet, sheet lined with parchment or silicone, for about 12 minutes.  They look too soft but will firm up as they cool.  Transfer to cooling rack, and eat when you can't stand waiting any more. They do keep well.

*This is basically a doubling of the Korova cookies recipe, with a smidge more butter (3/4 cup vs 5 1/2 ounces; then doubled), all white sugar and a little less of it (1/2 cup white sugar vs 2/3 cup brown sugar plus 1/4 cup white sugar; then doubled),  and peppermint as oil and leaf in place of vanilla, with a bit of pepper to add pep to the peppermint (was 2 teaspoons vanilla extract); bumped up the cocoa (1/2 cup vs 1/3 cup; then doubled; and adjusted the flour a bit downward from 1 1/4 cup per batch).  The original recipe is terrific and adaptable:   it also worked beautifully with some star anise and pink peppercorns to mimic a favorite flavor combination from Recchiuti's chocolates.

**Peppermint oil is much stronger than your average extract, and you can get a lot more peppermint flavor without altering the liquid-dry proportions too much.  I got mine from LorAnn oils (google them); confectionery and cake decorating stores will often carry the oils.

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