Tag Archives: Crème de menthe

Crème de menthe & chocolate sandwich biscuits

I’m afraid that I’ve rather neglected the We Should Cocoa blog challenge over the last few months – another victim of my general disorganisation and just that whole life thing.  I had planned to sneak back into the challenge last month, with a knock-your-socks-off mango and chocolate twist bread (the special ingredient was “mango“).  I was, however, thwarted by my general inability to successfully work with yeast, and the bread came out a complete failure.  So much for that plan.

Crème de menthe & chocolate sandwich biscuits 1

We Should CocoaThis month’s We Should Cocoa challenge is being hosted by Victoria of A Kick At The Pantry Door, and she has chosen the marvellous ingredient of “mint“.  I have always been a fan of the truly fabulous combination of dark chocolate and mint, and was a champion Bendick’s Mint Crisp and After Eight snaffler as a child (and totally not still as an adult, ahem).  Luckily, this month I actually have an entry to send in, in the form of some rather scrumptiously adorable crème de menthe and chocolate sandwich biscuits.  Which I realise is quite a wordy recipe title.

Crème de menthe & chocolate sandwich biscuits 2

These biscuits go in for a double chocolate whammy – there’s cocoa powder in the biscuits themselves, and the filling in the middle is white chocolate based.  I know that white chocolate and mint can be quite sickly, but it’s only a thin layer, so actually it works, balanced by the cocoa powder in the biscuits.  The mint flavour is quite subtle, which I like.  The original recipe referred to them as wafers, but I feel that suggests that they’re quite crisp, whereas actually they’re more on the chewy side of the biscuit spectrum.  I love the little holes in the top biscuits – I think they’re rather cute.  I’d wanted to use a fluted cutter so that the holes would be all pretty and scalloped, but discovered that I didn’t have one small enough.  Next time!

Crème de menthe & chocolate sandwich biscuits 3

Crème de menthe & chocolate sandwich biscuits

Makes 45-48 sandwich biscuits
Adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies

If you don’t have any crème de menthe (or don’t want to use alcohol), you can also use peppermint extract, though in lesser quantities, particularly in the filling – taste as you go.  The biscuit dough can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to three days, or frozen up to three months.  To freeze the biscuit dough, form into a log, wrap in baking paper, followed by tin foil and seal in a ziplock bag or airtight container.  You might need to cut the log in two to fit.  The finished biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


For the biscuits:
225g caster sugar
190g all-purpose flour
70g unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
200g unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp whole milk
2 tsp crème de menthe

For the filling:
150g white chocolate
1-2 tsp cream
1 tsp crème de menthe


To make the biscuits:
1.  Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and stir together.  Rub in the butter with your fingers.

2.  Mix the milk and crème de menthe in a glass or ramekin.  Whilst mixing the sugar mixture with an electric whisk, pour in the milk mixture.  Mix until the dough clumps around the beaters.  Knead for a few minutes with your hands to make sure it is evenly mixed.

3.  Spread a 50cm piece of baking paper or tin foil out on the work top.  Roll the biscuit dough into a 40cm long log of about 4cm in diameter.  Wrap in the baking paper and twist the ends.  Refrigerate for at least 1h until firm.  The dough can be refrigerated for up to three days, or if keeping for longer, it can be frozen up to 3 months.

4.  Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.  Pre-heat the oven to 175°C/fan 155°C.

5.  Once the dough is ready, slice into 4mm slices and space them at least 2cm apart on the prepared baking trays.  Refrigerate any slices not going straight into the oven.  Bake for 12-13 mins (they will puff up in the oven and are ready about 1½ mins after they’ve deflated again).  Using a bottle cap (a wine screw cap works excellently – I found that beer caps were a bit more difficult to get a grip on.  An apple corer would also work in a pinch) cut a circle in the centre of half of the biscuits.  Leave the cut-out centres in until cool – take care as the biscuits are quite fragile.  Remove the biscuits to wire racks to cool fully.

To make the filling & assemble:
6.  Once the biscuits are completely cooled, prepare the filling.  Break or chop the white chocolate into small pieces and add to a heat-proof bowl with the cream.  Melt together over a saucepan of barely simmering water.  Once the white chocolate is smoothly melted, remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the crème de menthe.  Don’t worry if the chocolate seizes up.

7.  Spread about ½ tsp of the filling onto each of the base biscuits and top with one of the biscuits with a hole.  Allow to set before serving.


PS – The raw biscuit dough is really quite tasty.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Filed under Recipes, Sweet Foods

Buy a mint plant, get a free surprise caterpillar

This month’s We Should Cocoa was hosted by Chele over at Chocolate Teapot, and she chose the theme “something green“, which I think is pretty self-explanatory.  The very first thing that popped into my head when I first read the theme was a delicious recipe for mint chocolate chip muffins from Mad About Muffins, my go-to book for muffin recipes.  A few days later, I realised that the only copy of the recipe that I have is in the actual book in my shipment which was being rifled through waiting for clearance by NZ Customs.  Minor issue there.  I also figured that mint and chocolate was probably going to be a fairly popular combination for the challenge, so perhaps I should do something else…

I mentioned this to Kat over a Skype chat (thank goodness for Skype), and it turns out that she happened to have a copy of the recipe, from when she’d stayed with me over the summer of 2010 – the summer which I think really cemented our friendship, and during which we spent a large amount of time baking together (gin and wine may have featured pretty heavily, too, which are always great for cementing friendships).  So I knew that I just had to make the muffins, in honour of that, and all the fun we had in St Andrews, because I baked these up several times for various parties, and they always went down really well.  And also because the only bakeware that I have with me are my muffin moulds.  Well, that’s not strictly true – all my stuff arrived yesterday (hurrah!!!), but it’s still being unpacked, so it’s not exactly readily accessible to bake with yet.  It makes me sad that I won’t be able to share this batch with Kat though.

At the Farmers’ Market last weekend I bought a few basic herb plants (basil, parsley, thyme and mint), so I decided to add some of the fresh mint to the muffins, just because I could.  After noticing a few rather sizeable chunks missing from several of the leaves that had most definitely been intact last Saturday, I discovered that the mint plant had come with a free caterpillar.  Said caterpillar didn’t touch any of the other herbs, only the mint, so I don’t think it’ll be suffering from halitosis any time soon (total anthropomorphism, I know, shhhh!).  I realise that this isn’t exactly a disaster, but I’m bad enough at keeping plants in good condition (I am very much not green-fingered) in the first place, without throwing something that eats them into the mix.  So between the caterpillar and the leaves I used for this recipe, the plant is looking a little sorry for itself now…  Hopefully it’ll grow back pretty quickly.  I had hoped that the mint leaves would make darker flecks of green through the light green of the muffin, but that didn’t happen – perhaps if I’d used far more it would have been more visible.  They still tasted delicious though – wonderfully moist, with a good minty flavour, balanced out by the chocolate.  I should add that the muffins also came out slightly darker on top than usual because I’m still getting used to having an oven that actually works properly.

Mint chocolate chip muffins

Makes 14 muffins
Recipe adapted from Mad About Muffins

The green food colouring is obviously optional, but it adds a fun touch.  This time I used a smidgeon of “leaf green” gel colouring, but I’ve used standard green liquid colouring in the past, and it works perfectly, too, so just use what you have.  The original recipe doesn’t use any crème de menthe, but it helps with the colour and the flavour – if you don’t want to use any, just use a total of 190ml of milk.  These muffins are delicious warm, but I do also love them cold with a glass of milk for breakfast.  As with most muffins, these won’t keep for very long, but can be stored overnight in an air-tight container.


340g all-purpose flour
130g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Handful of fresh mint leaves
100g unsalted butter
2 eggs
150ml milk
40ml crème de menthe
¾ tsp natural peppermint extract
½ tsp liquid green food colouring (or a smidgeon of gel colouring)
200g dark chocolate chips


1.  Line a muffin tray with 14 liners or set out silicone moulds on a baking sheet.  Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C.

2.  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and mix together.  Rinse the mint leaves, pat them dry, chop them (somewhere between finely chopped and roughly chopped is good) and stir into the dry ingredients.

3.  Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, lightly beat the two eggs with a fork.  Add the milk, crème de menthe, peppermint extract and green food colouring and lightly beat together (if using gel colouring, make sure that it doesn’t fall into a little lump at the bottom of the bowl).

4.  Add the wet ingredients and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir with a large metal spoon until just combined (the batter should be a bit lumpy with some flour still visible).

5.  Gently fold about 150g of the chocolate chips into the batter.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin liners, and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips.

6.  Bake for 18-22 mins until well risen and the tops spring back when gently pressed down (don’t press down on a chocolate chip though – they get really hot!).  Transfer to a wire rack to cool a little before eating.



Filed under Recipes, Sweet Foods