My mom was the first to start making these cookies; now we make them every year around Christmas. The cookies can be made two different ways: with Andes mints or with mint M&Ms (I actually prefer the Andes mints, which give the cookies a very nice swirled frosting on top). The pictures will show you the M&Ms method (I went to two different grocery stores and both were out of the Andes mints!) and I'll tell you about the Andes method throughout the steps. The cookies are great to take to work and share around, since the recipe makes about 8 dozen. Don't worry about having so many because they disappear fast! Just try not to eat them all yourself.
Step 1: Ingredients
1. Two (2) 9.9-ounce bags of mint M&Ms (or 3 packages of Andes mints)
2. 3/4 cup butter
3. 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (if you don't have dark, light works just as well)
4. 2 tablespoons water
5. One (1) 12-ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
6. 2 large eggs
7. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached is the best)
8. 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
Step 2: Heat Things Up a Bit
In a medium sauce pan, add the water, sugar, and butter. Heat the mixture on medium low heat and stir together. When the butter's all melted, pour in the chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove the pot from the heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a mixing bowl and let cool for about 10 minutes. The chocolate sauce mixture is quite yummy; it's hard to stay out of it while it's cooling.
Step 3: Moving Along
Once the chocolate sauce has cooled a bit, beat in the two eggs on high speed. A hand mixer works just fine in this recipe if you don't have a stand-alone mixer (I myself don't).
Add in the remaining ingredients (except the mints) and beat to blend. I stir in the flour as much as possible before turning on the beaters so the flour doesn't shoot up into my face. I've also found that turning the mixer on and off repeatedly helps keep the flour in the bowl.
Step 4: Take a Break
Once everything is mixed together. throw the bowl in the fridge for an hour.
If you are using the Andes mints, this is a good time to unwrap them. Put them on a plate and set aside.
When you're ready to start baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Step 5: Baking Time!
Pull the batter out of the fridge. Roll into small 1 inch balls and place on the cookie sheet.
If you plan on using the Andes mints, leave the balls as is. If you are going to use the M&Ms, use your fingers to flatten the balls a bit. Then place three M&Ms on each. Bake the cookies 10-12 minutes.
For Andes mints: Once the cookies come out of the oven, place a mint on each cookie. After they have melted a bit, use a knife to swirl them around. They will harden back up once they have cooled. Use the red and white ones around Christmas time (if you can find them) for a more festive look.
Enjoy them with a nice cold glass of milk!