Sunday, May 8, 2016

Darcy Merriweather’s Peppermint Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Guest Heather Blake

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Welcome to our guest, Heather Blake, joining us to celebrate the May 3 release of GONE WITH THE WITCH, the sixth book in her Wishcraft Mysteries!

One of my favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and peppermint. So much so, that I keep a year-round not-so-secret stash of Ghirardelli peppermint bark for those days when I need a little something to calm my nerves. Lovable witch Darcy Merriweather, the main character in my Wishcraft mysteries, shares a similar trait of turning to chocolate and peppermint when anxiety hits, though her stash consists of York Peppermint Patties, which she prefers frozen.

In honor of our love for chocolate-peppermint combinations, I came up with this cookie recipe to share with all of you. These cookies are cakelike, moist and dense. Leave as is when pulled from the oven or drizzle with a mint-chocolate ganache on top for an extra bit of gooey goodness. These are great with a cup of coffee, tea, or tall glass of milk.

What’s your favorite go-to stress food? Leave a comment by midnight, Monday, May 9, and you could win a signed copy of IT TAKES A WITCH, the first book in the Wishcraft series.

Darcy Merriweather’s Peppermint Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/2  c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 tsp. pure peppermint extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a bowl, cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then add the extract. 

In a separate bowl, sift (or whisk if you don’t have a sifter) together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa powder. 

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet mixture. Mix well. The dough will be thick. 

Fold in chocolate chips. 

Set mixture in freezer for ten minutes to firm up. 

Once firm, roll the dough into balls (I used two spoons to shape the dough), and place a couple of inches apart onto an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. 

Bake for 11-13 minutes. 

Let set for a few minutes before moving to a cookie rack to finish cooling. 

Once cool, drizzle or glaze with chocolate-mint ganache (optional).

Makes 18 cookies

Chocolate-mint ganache

2 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2-3 drops of peppermint extract (a little goes a long way).

In a double boiler (I use a glass bowl nestled over a simmering pan of water), melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat, add extract, stir. Let cool. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than twenty novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She's a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, and bake cookies. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family.

Visit her website, or connect with her on 
Facebook or Twitter, @booksbyheather