Let me introduce you to a delightfully fun treat that was a part of my childhood Amish Christmas traditions – Mint Surprise Cookies. These cookies may appear to be regular classic buttery delights topped with a charming pecan.
However, there is a reason they are called "Surprise Cookies". The name perfectly captures the essence of these delightful treats. The element of surprise lies in the unexpected burst of cool mintiness tucked away at the heart of each cookie.
As you take your first bite, you anticipate the familiar taste of a buttery pecan-topped treat, only to be pleasantly surprised by the hidden Andes Mint Thin within. The surprise element adds a touch of excitement and intrigue to the cookie-eating experience, making each bite a yummy adventure for your taste buds.
Amish Christmas Cookies
In case you didn't know, the Amish celebrate Christmas. While they may not celebrate the holiday in the typical American fashion, they still celebrate Christmas, remembering Jesus' birth.
My mom used to pass out cookie plates to all of our neighbors, so we spent a lot of time baking and creating beautiful plates filled with all kinds of homemade goodies.
Andes Mint Surprise Cookies were one of the treats we often made, and they've always been one of my favorite Christmas cookies, along with chewy, dipped gingersnap cookies, sugar cookies, and sand tart cookies.
Mint Christmas Cookies
I'm a sucker for mint-flavored goodies, which I must have inherited from my mom. (lol) She added mint flavoring to her chocolate chip cookie dough all the time, and I must say, I always loved them with the added mint flavor. Mint and chocolate is a match made in heaven!
These mint-stuffed cookies are made with a basic vanilla/butter cookie dough that could also be used to make regular chocolate chip cookies. Essentially, what you get from this recipe is the classic charm of a chocolate chip cookie, with a delightful twist of surprise mint flavor, that elevates it to a whole new level.
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- Butter: (I use salted butter in everything. To make these cookies, you want the butter soft enough to mix but not too soft.)
- Adds richness and flavor to the cookie.
- Contributes to the texture, providing moisture and a tender crumb.
- Sugar: (white sugar and brown sugar)
- Sweetens the cookies, balancing the flavors.
- Brown sugar adds moisture, chewiness, and a hint of molasses flavor.
- Provides structure and stability to the cookie dough.
- Contributes to the texture, giving the cookies a soft and tender consistency.
- All-Purpose Flour:
- Serves as the primary dry ingredient, providing structure.
- Enhances the overall flavor by balancing sweetness and bringing out other flavors.
- Baking Soda:
- Acts as a leavening agent, helping the cookies rise and become light and fluffy.
- Andes Creme De Menthe Thins:
- Provides the minty surprise at the center of each cookie.
- Adds a layer of rich, velvety chocolate combined with cool mint flavor.
- Pecan or Walnut Halves:
- Decorative and adds a crunchy texture to the cookies.
- Complements the overall flavor profile with a nutty element.
Each ingredient plays a crucial role in achieving the desired taste and texture of Mint Surprise Cookies. The combination of these elements results in a harmonious blend of sweet, buttery, chocolatey, and minty goodness with a delightful crunch from the nuts.
And if you want to add an extra festive touch, feel free to spread a bit of Christmas sprinkles over the top before baking.
How to Make Cookies with Andes Mints Inside
Making these cookies is just like baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies, although they are a bit more time-consuming since you have to wrap the dough around the Andes mint.
In a large mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen-Aid mixer with the paddle attachment), beat the partially softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda. Then add this dry mixture to the wet butter mixture and mix only to combine. The result should be a smooth and thick cookie dough.
Using a one-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls and stick an Andes mint inside the dough. Carefully wrap the dough around the mint, making sure to cover it completely and create a round disc.
Place the cookies onto a greased or parchment-lined baking tray, leaving adequate space between them. Lightly press a pecan or walnut half onto the top of each cookie.
Bake the cookies until the edges are lightly browned. If you like soft cookies, Do not overbake!
Let the cookies rest on the tray for a minute, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Once cooled, indulge in the delightful surprise as you bite into the cookies and discover the minty center! These Mint Surprise Cookies are sure to bring joy with every delicious bite.
Do I Need to Refrigerate Cookie Dough Before Baking?
To make these cookies with a surprise inside, we need to handle the dough to wrap it around the thin mint. Therefore, if the dough is too sticky, it will be hard to work with. So, if you find the dough too hard to handle, go ahead and refrigerate it for a while to stiffen it.
However, if you use cold butter, you shouldn't have to refrigerate the dough. You will need to let it soften a bit so that you can mix it properly, but don't let it get too soft.
Obviously, it will depend on the temperature in your kitchen, but I usually get my butter out of the fridge only about thirty minutes to an hour before I want to mix the cookies. It's pretty stiff yet, and if you turn the mixer too high before you get the butter beaten, it may fly out of your bowl ( 😉 - this happened to me).
But I like to use cold butter because I don't feel like waiting for my dough to chill.
How to Store Mint Surprise Cookies
Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 or 5 days. To store them longer, I recommend freezing them.
Cookies are always best when fresh, and frozen cookies stay fresh. Make sure they are well-protected to avoid any freezer burn, by using airtight containers. If desired, you can place a piece of parchment paper between the layers.
When properly stored, they should keep well in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw the cookies at room temperature for at least an hour before serving, or enjoy them partially frozen. They're great either way.
Can I Substitute the Andes Mints?
Yes, you sure can substitute the Andes Mints in these surprise cookies. You could replace them with York Peppermint Patties. And if you don't care for mint, you could also replace it with a plain chocolate wafer, or whatever else you think would be great in there. Feel free to have fun and create all kinds of surprise cookies.
Surprise Inside Cookies
Get ready to elevate your Christmas cookie game with enchanting Mint Surprise Cookies! These Amish Christmas delights may seem like your everyday buttery pecan-topped treats at first glance, but there's a delightful secret waiting to unfold.
I hope you enjoy these Mint Surprise Cookies as much as my family does. They get devoured very quickly at my house. 🙂 If you try this recipe, I'd love it if you left a comment and star rating below. Thank you and Happy Baking!
Maybe you'd also like to try my Christmas Fruitcake Recipe - the best one ever!
Mint Surprise Cookies Recipe (Amish Christmas Cookies)
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks) - slightly softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Approx. 42 Andes Creme De Menthe Thins
- Approx. 42 Pecan or Walnut Halves
- Preheat the oven to 375℉.
- Beat the butter and sugars until well-creamed.1 cup butter (2 sticks) - slightly softened, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar
- Add the eggs and beat well.2 large eggs
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and soda. Then add this to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. The dough should be smooth and stiff.3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Scoop the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, stick an Andes mint into the dough, and mold the dough all around the mint so that you cannot see it.Approx. 42 Andes Creme De Menthe Thins
- Place the cookie dough circles onto greased or parchment-lined baking trays. Lightly press a pecan half onto the top of each cookie.Approx. 42 Pecan or Walnut Halves
- Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Let the cookies rest on the tray for a minute and then remove them to a wire rack to cool.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 4 or 5 days.
- For extended shelf-life, freeze cookies to keep them fresh. Thaw and enjoy!