Mintywiches – Andes Candies Sandwich Cookies

These cookies are the absolute favorites of both Gladys of the Suburbs and Mahatma Sissypants (according to my recipe notes from 1999).  I’ve given their nicknames here because right now they’re stepping out on old Minty … looking for greener (literally in one cookie’s case) pastures in the chocolate-mint cookie combo… but I know they’ll be back and I don’t want to out their infidelity to the world for this minor blip.

I don’t know where the recipe originated, just that Mom’s been making them as long as I can remember and I’ve carried on the tradition.  In full disclosure, however, I really prefer to make these cookies with someone else – anyone else (as long as their hands have been washed, natch) – because I loathe rolling the balls.  My uniformity skills are sorely lacking and I end up with a variety of shapes and sizes which are okay in a stand-alone cookie but, um, not so aesthetically pleasing in a sandwich cookie.  You have been warned!

Since we’re coming onto Christmas like a freight train without brakes into a downhill station on a freezing rainy night, I’ve been remiss in photographing these latest cookie recipes.  Fortunately, my verbosity will be of great use here.  To wit, how to make these no-fail cookies in five(ish) steps:

1) Mix the ingredients together following the directions outlined below. 2) Chill the dough (overnight is best but sixish hours should do it).  3) Preheat the oven, 3a) roll the dough in sugar, 3b) bake, 3c) sandwich the Andes candies between two like-sized cookies. 4 or 3a1 … I erred on the side of a stand-alone hint ) The more uniform your dough balls, the less likely you will burn your fingers picking up and putting down cookies until you find the right size to match. 5) Eat.  And done.

Mom used to put a little rosette of red and green frosting on each cookie before serving … I never remember but it is pretty if you want to dude up these otherwise plain cookies.

If the directions above and below still leave you scratching your head as to why I’m recommending these perennial favorites and/or how to make them in more detail, drop me a line.  If I’m not too far into me grog cups, I’ll answer promptly.  I may even let the locusts answer for me since their sadly frequent (and sometimes successful by my count) attempts at pilfering make me think they may be experts in all things Mintywich.

Hope you bake these little lovelies – unless you’re Gladys and/or Mahatma and are out there in your come-hither baking get-ups looking for some Minty-come-lately – they are a real crowd pleaser.

Merry! Merry!

Mintywiches

2/3 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 ¾ cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
granulated sugar
60 creme de menthe wafers (Andes Crème de Menthe Thins)

Combine butter, sugar and egg in large mixing bowl and beat until light and creamy.  Blend in melted chocolate and corn syrup.  Sift together flour, soda and salt.  Stir into chocolate mixture.  Chill several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Using a level teaspoon of dough, shape into a ball and roll in granulated sugar.  Place  an even number of balls on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove each batch from oven and let it stand just a few seconds.  Do NOT cool.  Turn half of each batch upside down and top with a mint wafer.  Top with a like-sized cookie.  Place mintywiches in freezer to harden (or on counter for an hour).  HINT:  This dough becomes sticky at room temperature; return it to the refrigerator between batches.  If you’ve rolled a pan and they waiting (first, wow, you’re good!), put them in the refrigerator to keep them from getting melty.

Store, layered between parchment or waxed paper in a cookie tin.

Makes 50 cookies when using 1 level tsp measure for the balls.

If you prefer a higher filling to cookie ratio, measure out 1/2 tsp of dough for the balls.

Lucy Vitiello Polvinale’s Biscotti

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There are few things that universally say “Christmas!” to our extended family like Nonnie’s biscotti.  Not to be confused with our Nonnie (queen of the pasta fazool), this nonna is my mother and her siblings’ grandmother.  Lucy Vitiello Polvinale aka Old Nonnie (or Nonnie from Florida if she was within earshot) was a pistol of a lady. Though vertically challenged to the tune of 4 foot nothing – give or take – she could whip up a feast for the hordes while telling fabulous stories in her wizened old Italian-accented voice, barking orders at Cizzie (the Florida Cizzie, not to be confused with present day Aunt Dot Cizzie) and encouraging the feeble attempts of any protegee, young or old, who thought it wise to belly up to her counter to roll gnocchi or simply bask in her wonderful presence.

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