Minty Good

I’ve been in a mint mood lately.  Mint and chocolate, especially.  Except I don’t really like mint chocolate chip ice cream that much.  I’ll eat it, but it’s not my first choice.

So, I’m on a mint kick; it’s a holiday thing, I suppose.  Currently, I’m in love with McDonald’s peppermint mochas, which I think are better than Starbucks’ version.  Not only do I think they taste better, they’re a whole lot cheaper; thanks to a coupon book I received in the mail, the last two medium-sized peppermint mochas I bought at McDonald’s were $1.79 a piece.  You can’t even buy air at Starbucks for $1.79.

I found myself in somewhat of a baking quandary this weekend as I cleaned out and rearranged my overflowing pantry.  I found a bag of mint chocolate chips hidden in the ‘baking area’ of my pantry that were crying out to be used in a tasty recipe.  But my quandary was this:  whom shall I bake for?  I already sent Christmas goodies to Afghanistan and I can’t make a whole batch of cookies for just Caroline and me because I’ll eat them all.  But good news, my pal Mandy has been baking for her husband’s hungry troops and I knew that if I added a batch of mint chocolate cookies to her offerings, those boys would happily eat them.  A baker’s best friend is a receptive audience; preferably an audience with high metabolisms.

I used my favorite double chocolate chunk cookie recipe, but replaced the chocolate chunks with mint chocolate chips.

I really love these cookies.  The outside is slightly crunchy, but the inside is chewy and gooey like a brownie.

But the minty goodness didn’t stop there.

I had peppermint bark to make, too.  Caroline’s friend loves the stuff, so I made some for her, plus I included a box of it with the cookies I gave to Mandy.  I probably should have halved the recipe, because it makes a ton, but those boys will eat anything, so it probably won’t go to waste.

I really miss baking for human garbage disposals.  Craig’s troops in Georgia ate ANYTHING and within minutes of the container being set down on the table.  His co-workers here in Virginia were still very willing taste testers, but most of them were civilians (read: not young soldier boys with super metabolisms)  so they weren’t necessarily as willing to eat as unjudiciously.  Middle aged spread and the concern over high cholesterol levels have a way of dampening the joy of eating with reckless abandon.

Isn’t it pretty?

Appropos of anything peppermint related, I thought I should send a shout out to Craig, who as of December 16th, has served in the US Army for 20 years.  He actually enlisted over 22 years ago, but he had a break in service (that’s when we met), so the official 20 year mark was met last week.

Congratulations, Craig!

And no, you cannot retire now.  😉


4 responses

  1. 20 years is a looooong time! Congrats to your husband!

    Your peppermint bark is so pretty! The batch I made for Stephen is very unpretty. Thankfully, I doubt he’ll notice. I like mint chocolate chip ice cream when it’s melty but not when it’s firm. maybe you’d like it melty, too!*

    • The good thing is that most guys don’t care what it looks like! My bark is pretty, but it’s not minty enough. I should have added some candy canes to the white chocolate, too. I added a bit of mint extract, but not enough because I was afraid it would taste like toothpaste.

      Craig always gets mint chocolate milk shakes….that’s kind of melty, right? Those are good. I do like peppermint ice cream….the pink kind with bits of candy cane in it. Sometimes I don’t make much sense at all.

      20 years is a looong time. He has several more to go….3-5 at least. He’s a lifer+.

  2. 20 years…awesome! It’s a huge step knowing that, if you want to, you can retire. Nine more years and I’ll be in that position…can’t wait! But then my baking will take a hit because I won’t have a bunch of young Marines willing to eat anything I bring in. You win some, you lose some. 😉

    • It is nice knowing that if it gets really bad, he could be done, however, Craig HAS to do three more years to ensure he gets at least 50% retirement pay, because of a bonus he took at 15 years. There are days when he’s DONE, but usually he’s okay with staying in longer. Getting Hawaii has a lot to do with that! How long he stays in really depends on that next promotion in a couple of years. We’ll see…..

      I know what you mean about the baking thing; having young HUNGRY dudes to eat your food is so much fun and it allows you the opportunity to bake a lot. I hope your Marines enjoyed the sugar cookies you made this weekend!


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