I really don’t like Valentine’s Day and I’m pretty sure that’s one of the main reasons my husband digs me. That and that I do things like this (see below) in the kitchen. And even though I don’t care for Valentine’s Day, I deeply care for red velvet. And thin mints. And Oreo cookie filling (sans actual cookie). And Farmer and The Girl. Not necessarily in that order.
I named these crispy, minty, tasty morsels Julia Roberts Cookies, for a variety of reasons but mostly in honor of her famous dreamy red velvet evening gown and white gloves in one of my all time favorite movies Pretty Woman. And who could forget the famous red velvet armadillo cake in Steel Magnolias, another fav flick. Also, I have a girl/middle aged mom crush on her.
This year our family will be spending Valentine’s Day at The Girl’s ski race at Anthony Lakes Ski Resort. Although Farmer and I won’t be celebrating, I still like to do it up for The Girl, so I needed an original Valentiney treat that was going hold up for a few days before VDay as well as be sturdy enough to withstand some packing and travel. And since peppermint is one of the main crops we grow on the farm, I am constantly looking for ways to use the gallons of mint oil we have laying around. Thus, Julia Roberts Cookies were born. Red Velvet + Thin Mints + Oreo Filling. Yes, you read that correctly. The rest of your life will now be referred to as either Before JRC ( Julia Roberts Cookies) or After JRC. Enjoy!
I adapted and combined recipes from other sources that are referenced. If you are looking for something really quick, this is not the recipe for you but I promise that they are worth it if you’re willing to put in the time.
Remember that when you are combining the wet ingredients, the mixture will look a little curdled. It’s supposed to so don’t fret.
The picture above reflects the addition of the 3 TSP of food coloring. I wasn’t really happy with the color so I ended up adding 2 more to the dough as I was mixing to get the color I desired and I’m really happy with how they turned out. I also think could easily chill and roll out this dough to use your favorite cookie cutters. I normally would have done that because I hate non uniform shaped cookies, but in the interest of time I completely ignored my natural instincts and chose to log roll and slice.
One last thing. If you are using pure mint oil like I did, please please please please please make sure you keep the oil away from your eyes. I didn’t realize the I had a tiny bit on my finger and I scratched under my eye. It was no bueno. Safety first my friends.
Red Velvet Thin Mints
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint oil or extract
3+ Teaspoons Red Gel Food Coloring
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk, extracts and food coloring (add as much or as little coloring as you like depending on the intensity of red you desire). Mixture will look curdled. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Slice dough into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick – if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp – and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.
10-oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
In a double boiler, combine chocolate and butter. Melt together, stirring frequently until mixture is thinnish and free of lumps.
Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is cool and firm.
Reheat chocolate as needed to keep it smooth and easy to dip into.
Makes 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.
Cookie recipe adapted from Baking Bites.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup butter flavor or plain vegetable shortening
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter and shortening until fluffy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.
Flip half of the cookies upside down and top each with 1 level tablespoon of filling. Press the remaining cookies on top to make sandwiches.
Original filling recipe adapted from Food Network.