Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Splashy Surprise

This recipe is based on the recipe that was a senior winner in the 1st Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City in 1949. This prize-winning recipe was submitted by Miss Laura Rott of Naperville, Illinois. The contest was created to celebrate Pillsbury’s 80th birthday. The contest was nick named “Bake-Off” and it fit so well, that it stuck. A tremendous success, the contest has been repeated annually for the past fifty years.

I started making these cookies professionally for a splashy surprise on cookie platters. A few leftovers on a plate and my family was hooked! They do fall into my “fussy” cookie category, but they are so very worth the time and effort. An assembly line process helps to take some of the tedium out of their making. I measure out all the balls, then flatten them and enfold the mints, etc. This works quite well for me, but you may find another process that works better for you.

Notes for this cookie: Although chocolate mint wafers are called for, any chocolate wafer of similar size and shape can be used.

Starlight Mint Cookies

3 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 c. packed brown sugar

½ c. sugar

3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

60 solid chocolate mint candy wafers

60 walnut halves or pieces

Measure the flour and baking soda into a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl beat the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Scrap the sides, add the vanilla and eggs, and beat until blended in. Scrape the sides, add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375. Count out walnut halves into a bowl and set aside. Unwrap the wafers into a bowl and set aside. Have cookie sheets handy.

With a 1 Tbsp scoop measure out the dough into balls. When the step is complete, flatten the balls of dough in the palm of your hand. Place a chocolate wafer in the middle of the flattened dough. Fold the dough over the wafer so it completely covers it. Place the cookies seam side down about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

When this step is complete, place a walnut half or a few walnut pieces on top of each cookie. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the cookie is a light golden brown. Rotate sheets halfway through cooking time. Remove immediately to wire racks.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

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