This weekend was an exceptionally productive one. I went for three long runs, cleaned out my closets twice, sold a bunch of clothes at Beacon's Closet, and donated the rest. I made a lot of almost-final headway on a work project. I brunched with friends and took Suz Monster to the park a lot. I finished reading Three Stages of Amazement. I went out to the Brooklyn Flea. Twice. And I baked. I baked more in one shot than I ever have in my life. In fact, I was up 'til 2 AM on Friday night baking dozens and dozens of cookies for the Bakesale for Japan. And then up at 7 AM on Saturday putting the final decorative touches on my cookie packages and getting ready to head over to the Brooklyn Flea to work the sale. It was an awesome experience from beginning to end, especially knowing that 100% of the proceeds were going directly to Japan's rescue efforts. We ended up raising almost $5,000 that day, which made me positively giddy.
The cookies I chose to bake for the sale are a constant crowd favorite called Nero cookies. They're rich, chocolate-y, fudgy pieces of goodness with a direct hit of mint that reminds me of old-fashioned Girl Scout Thin Mints, but way, way better. Best of all, the recipe is one of the easiest in my cookie arsenal. It's the perfect thing to try out if you're looking for something that will make everyone happy, even if it's a crowded flea market packed to overflowing. Recipe below. xo
4 1 oz squares of unsweetened chocolate (I used Baker's)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 cups of white sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons of peppermint extract
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
Melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl in the microwave. Heat in 30-second increments and stir in between to make sure it doesn't burn.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed with a handheld mixer. Slowly add the sugar, vanilla, and mint extract. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture beating at low speed until well blended. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Shape the dough into small balls then roll in powdered sugar. Place the balls on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack before digging in.