White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds and Fresh Mint


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It always excites me when I think that someone invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1937. To me, it was like the discovery of a whole new brilliant species — only about 70 yrs ago. And it reminds me that what is classic was once new and what is new can one day become a classic… And of course, what is revolutionary is often an innovation that takes flight. There’s always the possibility that one of your culinary experiments could become a favorite standard throughout generations… or live on as a legend among family and friends. These White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds and Fresh Mint in Nancy Silverton’s Desserts cookbook (published in 1986, mind you, but it’s new to me) tapped into these thoughts. White Chocolate… Almonds… Fresh Mint… in a chocolate chip-like cookie? I had to make it.

I was also intrigued by Silverton’s technique for making them. Among the highlights are chopping “very cold” chocolate into chunks, using dark brown sugar, dissolving the baking soda in boiling water and adding it between flour additions, using pastry flour, using almond extract instead of vanilla extract, using finely chopped fresh mint, chilling the dough at least 2 hours until firm to shape, and chilling them again to bake. The dough has an appealing confetti-like look to it — bits of reddish brown, green, and white.

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As far as I can tell, I followed the instructions to the letter, but as you can see, something went wrong. They were almost like thick tuiles, with large bubbles inside the buttery and slightly crispy caramelized dough. Maybe the organic pastry flour that I used reacted oddly.

Oh, but the flavor? Except for the excessive buttery taste, it was great. The creaminess of the white chocolate brought out the creaminess in the toasted almonds… and the depth of flavor from the toasted almonds brought out a complexity in the white chocolate (of course, good, real white chocolate is key for this. I used El Rey, which has cocoa butter, not the assorted oils found in standard white chocolate chips). And meanwhile, the zing of mint moved in and out, and left a pleasant minty freshness at the end. The almond extract also added an enrobing almondness that was addictive, and not overpowering.

So, I really wanted them to work. I’d only baked off a few of them, so I thought about how I could try to fix the remaining batter. With nothing to lose, I mixed in a 1/4 cup AP flour (for more body, since it’s higher in protein than pastry flour) to the rmg dough, chilled it to try to give it time to hydrate, and baked them off. They were slightly more choc chip cookie-like, but they also had white dots, which I assume meant that the new flour didn’t really take well.

I still really wanted this cookie to work, so I started over… using the recipe off the Nestle Toll House bag. I substituted the almonds, white chocolate, and mint for the chips and nuts, and used half vanilla extract and half almond extract (mainly b/c I ran out of almond extract). That cookie is the first picture above. And it worked! I got the flavors that I wanted in a texture that I liked (I prefer chewy, balanced choc chip cookies). These still had a slightly caramelized texture, though, and they browned quickly and strongly around the edges — maybe because of the moisture in the finely chopped mint reacted with the sugars? My main wish, though, was that I’d had enough almond extract, b/c I missed its potency. But I definitely want to use this flavor combination again in the future, so I’ll make sure to keep it on hand in the future…

And I sampled a piece of cookie with a spoonful of malted milk chocolate ice cream that I’d made. Sure, it was probably at least two too many flavors, but every bite kicked up a new flavor… and I liked it.

One Response to “White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds and Fresh Mint”

  1. Blog posts relating to chocolate chip cookie invented | Says:

    […] White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds and Fresh MintIt always excites me when I think that someone invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1937. To me, it was like the discovery of a whole new brilliant species ? only about 70 yrs ago. And it reminds me that what is classic was once new … […]

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