Summer has a way evoking the child in all of us and nowhere was this more obvious than on Sunday at Barton Springs where people did handstands and blew up floaters to enjoy in the pool. As my friends and I laid in the shade I noted how joyful this place was and how rare it is to see in cities.
This seems ironic considering a good friend of mine turned thirty yesterday and my youth feels a thousand miles from where I am currently standing. The conversation with James hours into his last day in his twenties had him freaking out that he would never be twenty something again and there is a weight to that. Being in your twenties is a time to make concrete decisions for yourself and your future, that is a first so the vast majority of people and there is a freedom to being free from anyone else’s decisions for the first time.
Having been on the road for the past almost three months has been a way for me to avoid being a full blown grown up and knowing with full awareness that this time in my and my friends lives is incredibly fleeting because in a few years houses will be owned, marriages will be happening and children will be born and this life of going so freely places will be lost.
In the meantime, eating these Australian Mint Slice cookies or better known as biscuits are something I’ll eat to drown my sorrows over this whole aging thing. These biscuits are a bit of a classic piece of Australia and are considered one of the best (though we all know TimTams are the best and most well known Australian biscuits), so here is a simple recipe that is super easy to bring together.
Australian Mint Slice
Adapted from Food 52
113 grams/4 ounces butter, room temperature
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 tablespoons water
200 grams/7 ounces dark chocolate
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Cream the butter and sugar until combined and fluffy.
Add the egg and beat until well combined and it holds together.
Sift the cocoa powder into the mixture until combined. Add the flour and fold into the mixture until well mixed.
Turn onto plastic wrap and carefully roll into a log 1 1/2 inches thick.
Refrigerate overnight or freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove from the fridge and preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F.
Carefully slice the dough into 1/2 inch slices and place on a prepared baking tray.
Bake in the oven until the cookies look matte, approximately 10 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the baking tray and repeat with the remaining dough.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, peppermint extract and water in a bowl until the mixture is moist and holds mostly together. Remove a large teaspoon amount and roll into a ball in your palm.
Flatten evenly and lay on top of the cookie, ensuring it covers most of the top, but doesn’t touch the edge of the cookies. Carefully press the edges of the filling down to hold it and repeat with the remaining mixture until all the peppermint filling has been placed on top.
For the chocolate topping, place the chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl and melt on medium in either a double boiler or microwave until smooth.
Place one cookie at a time into the chocolate, coating fully. Place on a tray to set properly.
Note: The original recipe made 20 and somehow I got 24 cookies from this recipe, you don’t want cookies too thick. Thinner then a 1/2 inch thickness is better then thicker.