Chocolate and mint go so well together that National Chocolate Mint Day is recognized by the US National Confectioners Association and happily observed on February 19th by chocolate mint lovers everywhere!
Even nature gets in on this delicious action! The chocolate mint plant features dark-green purplish leaves and garners its name from the herb’s flavor, which is akin to a chocolate-covered mint candy. Once harvested, the mint leaves are often dried and used as tea or chopped and consumed with fresh fruit.
And while tea and fruit are wonderful uses for chocolate mint, this is Spec’s and we like to 21-and-up our recipes with a little fermented fun. Check out these three recipes below for a delicious good time for you and your sweet tooth!
Spirited Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake
- 1½ oz. vodka
- ¼ oz. crème de menthe
- 1 ½ c. mint chocolate chip ice cream
- Whipped cream and sugar, for serving
(For St. Patrick’s Day add 5-6 drops green food coloring)
- In a blender, puree the ice cream with the vodka, crème de menthe and if desired, food coloring, until smooth.
- Pour into a chilled serving glass and top with whipped cream and sprinkles or sugar.
- Serve right away.
Spirited White Chocolate Mint Hot Cocoa
- 1 oz. Irish Cream liquor
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 2 c. milk
- 2 c. half & half
- ½ bag white chocolate chips
- Green food coloring
- Crushed Andes mints, or thin mint cookies, and whipped cream for garnish
- In a large pot, on medium heat add milk and half & half, and heat until hot, but not boiling.
- Add white chocolate chips and stir until completely melted.
- Add the liquor, extract, and food coloring.
- Stir well and pour into your mugs.
- Top with whipped cream and mint cookie crumble.
Spirited Mint Chocolate Cookies
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- ½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 5 Tbsp. butter at room temperature
- 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
- 3 Tbsp. Branca Menta
- ½ tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 ½ – 2 c. semisweet or dark chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy and well combined, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add first the egg and then the egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in the extracts. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until just combined. The dough will be super sticky.
- Shape the dough into a disk on the parchment paper. (If the dough is too sticky to work with, chill it in the fridge for 30 mins.) Wrap the disk of cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. (You can refrigerate the dough overnight, though you’ll need to let it warm slightly at room temperature before you’re able to roll it out.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough into same size balls and flatten with the bottom of a glass until about 1/4-inch thick.
- Bake the Branca Menta cookies, switching halfway through, until dry and crisp and firm around the edges, anywhere from 8 minutes, depending on thickness. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheets and then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Submerge a cookie into the melted chocolate and turn to coat. Shake off any excess and place on parchment paper. Repeat for all of the cookies, re-heating the chocolate when necessary.
- Let cookies cool for at least 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.
Cookies will keep, layered between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container, for up to 1 week – if you have any last that long!