Herbal Desserts For Valentine's Day: Cocoa-Mint Sandwich Cookies

| February/March 2007

Extend a gesture of “friendliness” with these mint-infused cookie sandwiches. For an extra special Valentine’s Day touch, I’ve cut them into fluted rounds with a small heart “window” in each cookie top. MAKES ABOUT THIRTY-SIZ 1 1/2-INCH ROUND SANDWICH COOKIES

White chocolate-mint mousse

• 1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves, stems removed, coarsely chopped
• 1 cup heavy cream, divided
• 6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

Cocoa wafers

• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon pure mint extract
• 1/2 cup unsweetened, alkalized cocoa powder
• 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
• About 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for dusting work surface
• 2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling on cookie tops
• About 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

1. To make mousse, place mint and 1/2 cup cream in saucepan and bring to scalding over medium heat. Turn off heat. Steep about 30 minutes. Strain cream mixture into another clean saucepan, pressing excess liquid from mint. Add chopped white chocolate to cream and place over low heat. Stir constantly just until chocolate is melted and mixture is very smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. Cover surface flush with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Using an electric mixer with whip attachment, whip remaining cream to stiff peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture. Chill mousse 3 to 4 hours or until thick and creamy.

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