1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons good-quality unsweetened cocoa
4 ounces (1/2 cup) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 24 Junior Mint candies
3/4 cup white chocolate chips or white candy coating, to drizzle (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and unsweetened cocoa powder. Set aside.
Combine the butter and two types of sugar in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, for about 2 minutes. Add the egg, the vanilla extract, and the mint extract (if using) and beat them until the egg is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until the flour is almost completely blended in. Stop the mixer and finish mixing in the flour by hand, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl in the process.
Use a cookie scoop or large tablespoon to form a 1-inch ball of cookie dough. Press a Junior Mint candy in the center of the dough, and roll it between your hands to get the cookie completely round. Place the cookie on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Once all of the cookies are formed, bake them in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until they have spread, are puffed, and are set around the edges, the raw sheen is off the dough, but are still quite soft in the center.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you want to drizzle them with melted white chocolate or candy coating, wait until the cookies are completely cool, then melt the coating in a double boiler. Spoon it into a small zip-top plastic bag, and cut a small hole in the corner. Lightly drizzle the coating over the cookies, then let it set at room temperature before moving or stacking them.
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