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!


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.

Grandma Zemke’s Gingerbread Cookies

The universally agreed upon greatest Christmas cookie in our house isn’t even one of my family recipes. It’s BD’s maternal grandmother Helen Molnar Zemke’s gingerbread cookies.  Up until two years ago, I had never attempted the cookies. I didn’t need to.  I’d just wait until Pat (BD’s mother, Helen’s daughter, my mother-in-law … you following?) would go into her baking frenzy and suddenly boxes of gingerbread cookies would appear in our house. Continue Reading

Hummus bi tahini


When I was in kindergarten, my mother married George Mitchell David.  My first memory of him was of a very tall, dark-haired man wearing a trench coat with pockets full of Juicy Fruit gum and Mary Jane candies which he happily doled out to this wee holder of boring suspicious eyes.  He was a wonderful man who not only stepped into the very difficult position of stepfather to two young children but also folded us into his very large, very close Lebanese family.

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Lemon Cheesecake with a Shortbread Crust and Raspberry Coulis


I forgot how much I love this cheesecake.  I’ve made it on and off – obviously mostly off recently – for the better part of my baking life.  The first time I made it was for a boss’s birthday many moons ago and then for quite a while it was my go-to party dessert. Somewhere along the way, much like mood rings and shoulder pads in ladies suits, it fell out of favor or I got bored with it … In either case, my loss.  But no more!

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Video Demonstration – Nonnie’s Biscotti

Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life’s undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe

A holiday indulgence, if you please.  In all their splendor, linked below are eight uncut, unedited, completely amateur (by yours truly) videos of our day of biscotti making with Aunt Dot.  Interspersed with an intro to “The Monsta,” nuggets of family chatter and some wicked dance moves (don’t ask but do watch if you dare), you will find all of the secrets to making a perfect batch (or six if you are Aunt Dot) of Nonnie’s biscotti.  Enjoy or be afraid … you decide!

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Lentils and Rice: Zhudra


Sixty picture later, I’ve just given up.  It’s simply not a pretty dish. You’ll need to take my word that it’s delicious. Earthy lentils, bitter (in a good way) onions, and lots of black pepper combine to make one of my all-time favorite bean dishes.  It’s hearty and filling.  It’s even vegan if that’s your thing.  It’s a comfort dish that transports me to Aunt Myra’s kitchen and some warm happy memories.  She is a terrific cook and introduced my childhood to mint in green salads (that one took me a while to get used to), Syrian meatloaf, and this wonderful lentil dish.  Later in life she introduced me to jug wine but that’s a story for another time.

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Pat’s Baked Beans


Beans.  The Rodney Dangerfield of of the food world.  They get no respect.  Though poems have been written about them, they are the sort of poesy that brings unwanted parental attention upon recitation.: Beans, beans, the musical fruit …. Beans, beans, good for your heart … You can sing them both, can’t you?  Beans need the PR that prunes got a few years back … dried plums, anyone?  Though beans are highlighted in practically every cuisine worth mention, for most of us, they are relegated to side dish just meant to round out a meal.  And here I am … relegating them to side dish.  Irony.  Well, no, I am not relegating anything.  Pat is.  How to get in good with your mother-in-law?  Throw her under the bus.  These are Pat’s beans.  Pat Smith is my mother-in-law and she introduced me, nay, opened my eyes to the deliciousness that is these baked beans.  Though the pic above has the beans as a side, these beans are my main.  Fresh and hot?  to die for.  Cold out of the fridge for breakfast?  move over coffee.  Yes, these beans are that good.

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