Add Fresh Mint To Your Next Batch Of Chocolate Chip Cookies For A Zing

There's no need to mess with a good thing — that is, unless that good thing is chocolate chip cookies. Despite being pretty perfect in their own regard, the tasty treats can only risk becoming more delicious with an enhancement or two. Yet, rather than boost complexity with a handful of chopped nuts or crumbled toffee, why not take a more unconventional approach by working with subtly sweet herbs? For chocolate chip cookies with pizzazz and freshness, all you need to do is mix fresh mint into your next batch.

Chocolate and mint are a classic combo, which means that they shouldn't be kept apart, not even in a cookie recipe. The reason behind why the two ingredients pair so well is because of their differing flavor profiles. While chocolate can be decadent, mint is refreshingly cool. Cutting through the richness of the confection, sweetly herbaceous mint strikes up a gustatory balance that plays well with chocolate's bitter earthiness.

Although a dash of extract or mint-flavored chips are easy ways to add a minty twist to any chocolate chip cookie recipe, they pale in comparison to fresh mint. Unlike these mint-flavored products that often border on intensely artificial and jarringly medicinal, fresh mint has a brighter and deeply nuanced flavor. Plus, it's more aromatic. As a result, fresher is better when it comes to mixing mint into chocolate chip cookies.

How to add fresh mint to your cookie dough

Fresh mint can be found at any supermarket. Generally, spearmint is what's lining shelves, but it isn't uncommon to find purple-tinged peppermint. A local farmer's market may offer varieties like citrusy lemon mint or fragrant chocolate mint — the ideal choice for revamping chocolate chip cookies. Regardless of which you pick, always seek out mint that's deeply aromatic with perky leaves.

When it comes to incorporating the herb into a batch of cookies, about ½ cup is enough to impart a crisp and cool freshness. The simplest way to work it into a recipe is to fold chopped leaves into dough alongside chocolate chips. Otherwise, the mint can be blended with sugar into a smooth paste to avoid any textural changes. Another option is to steep mint (stems and all) in butter, which will then be used in the recipe. The benefit of this technique is that it'll infuse the maximum amount of flavor without compromising textures or aesthetics.

Additionally, it's worth considering which chocolate chips will best complement the mint. While you can't go wrong with semi-sweet chips, feel free to experiment. Both intense dark chocolate chunks or mini chips of buttery white chocolate can prove to be a match for mint; you might even want to mix and match them. Ultimately, however you customize chocolate chip cookies is up to you, just don't forget the fresh mint!