RainSeptember feels both aloof and intimate this year. The days are hot, damp...marvelously slow & yet bittersweet in their attempt to casually hold onto mid-July's warm embrace. A small fistful of russet-tinted leaves have fallen onto the still verdant earth. They remind me of overexuberant guests who always arrive too early for the party; yet you can't help but get swept up in their contagious, breathless excitement. September is my birthday month, but I can always sense autumn's approaching grey skies & deceptively soft chill. I have no quarrel with autumn, don't get me wrong, I'm only all too aware of what follows, and I will never be ready for it.
a symphony orchestra.
there is a thunderstorm
they are playing a Wagner overture
and the people leave their seats under the trees
and run inside the pavilion
the women giggling, the men pretending calm,
wet cigarettes being thrown away,
Wagner plays on, and then they are all under the
pavilion. the birds even come in from the trees
and enter the pavilion and then it is the Hungarian
Rhapsody #2 by Lizst, and it still rains, but look,
one man sits alone in the rain
listening, the audience notices him. they turn
and look. the orchestra goes about its
business. the man sits in the night in the rain,
listening. there is something wrong with him,
he came to hear the
~ by Charles Bukowski, from Selected Poems
The movie Crimson Peak will not be released until October, but the moody, baroque vibe of these cookies made me think of all things Gothic & seductive. Based on what I have seen so far, I could see the esoteric Sir Thomas Sharpe indulging on a few of these gems whilst sitting apart from everyone, listening to the rain. The cookies are also an excuse to bring up Tom Hiddleston (or one of his roles) in a recipe, again. Maybe one recipe will make its way onto his radar, oven & kitchen table, someday.
Honestly though, the cookies are deliciously dark and brooding. I would love to sit inside a cosy window nook, beside an spacious fireplace (rumbling & crackling a little too much), in a drafty castle while listening to the blustery wind sing its way under thick, crooked wooden doors. I'd have several books within reach, whisky-spiked cocoa & a plateful of these rich cookies on hand. The cookies are deep, soft and welcoming with a whisper of refreshing mint. Dessert was a rare treat when I was growing up, but occasionally my sister and I were allowed to enjoy two After Eight chocolates. I'll always be drawn to the intoxicating combination of dark chocolate and mint.
Note; if you don't have access to fresh mint, use a shy 1/4 teaspoonful of peppermint extract. Don't go overboard, a little bit of mint extract goes a long way.
Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone! xoxo
loose 1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves (don't worry about precision, just grab several sprigs)
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of baking Soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
Place mint leaves and 1 Tablespoon of sugar into bowl of a small food processor. Pulse several times until mint is minced well into sugar. Set aside to marinate for a few minutes.
In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
Place the butter, and both sugars and mint/sugar mixture into stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes.) Add egg beat on medium speed until well combined. Switch speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, beating only until the streaks of flour have disappeared. Stir in chopped chocolate.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least six hours (or overnight, preferably).
Preheat the oven to 375 F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. For each cookies, measure out a heaping tablespoonful of dough (mine weighed about 2oz each).
Place the cookies on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1-inch of space between each one (these don't spread very much.) Bake until light golden, about 9-13 minute. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them rest on the sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Makes 10-12 cookies