Chocolate and peppermint combine to create luscious cookies - perfect for a winter’s day.
There's nothing to say you can't make these all year round but there is something wintry and festive about peppermint. These are gorgeous by the fire with some hot chocolate. Makes 12. Gluten-free, dairy-free & vegan
For the cookies:
240g ground almonds
25g cacao powder
60ml maple syrup
80ml melted coconut oil
½ tsp peppermint extract
For the coating:
200g dark chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp peppermint extract
Mix together the ground almonds, cacao powder and a good pinch of sea salt in a large bowl.
While mixing, add in the maple syrup, coconut oil and peppermint extract.
Shape the mixture into a large ball and roll it out on a clean surface until about half an inch thick.
Don't worry about the edges cracking, just use a small glass or cookie cutter to cut cookie shapes from the middle.
Lay them out on a roasting tray lined with baking paper. Reshape and roll the mixture as needed.
Bake at 180°C for about 13-15 minutes until starting to crisp. Then leave to cool completely on the tray on a wire rack.
Once they're cool, melt the chocolate and whisk it together with the coconut oil and peppermint extract.
Lay the baking paper out on a chopping board.
Dip each cookie in chocolate to coat, shake off any extra and leave them on the chopping board in the fridge to set.
For some reason, peppermint extract can be quite hard to find. You would expect it to be in the baking aisle next to the vanilla essence but more often than not it's missing from the shelf. To avoid disappointment, I recommend buying it online. You can find lots on Amazon as well as on independent shops' websites (I ordered from evergreen.ie and it arrived the next day). Go for peppermint rather than mint (mint seems too like toothpaste for my taste). Order it once and the little vial will be more than you will ever need. As well as this recipe I like to add a little drop to hot chocolate or a few drops to a batch of energy balls for an instant flavour twist.
Last week, I finally got back to Bresson in Monkstown, Co Dublin, for my second visit. I knew it would be as good as I remembered as soon as I turned into their courtyard and peered in at the glowing, candle-lit restaurant that looked so inviting and cosy. We had a quick glass of wine at the gorgeous bar before sitting down for dinner. We didn't order starters but the seasonal pumpkin soup amuse-bouche and warm bread really hit the spot. I had the special - hake with tenderstem broccoli and crisp potatoes and it was exactly what I was hoping for and great value. Next time, I'm going for all three courses and I hear Stu, the bartender, has some killer new cocktails up his sleeve.
If mint is your thing, I also love making homemade After Eight- style treats. They only take a few simple ingredients so check out thelittlegreenspoon.com if you want to give them a go.