Tuesday, March 10, 2020

A Nod to the Green: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Top o' the mornin' to you lads and lassies. St. Patrick's Day is approaching as quickly as a leprechaun dashes toward a rainbow to find his pot of gold. If you're looking to add a little festivity to March 17, the girls and I tried out a new recipe.
In the heat of the moment (or the heat of the kitchen, as the case may be), I didn't get any photos of the girls working on the cookies. But they were my able assistants. (We also did a St. Patrick's Day wreath project. Can you tell there are shamrocks underneath all those stickers?)
But back to the cookies ... A holiday is always an excuse for a special treat. In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a religious day accompanied by church services, much like Christmas and Easter (according to "America Celebrates! A Patchwork of Weird & Wonderful Holiday Lore.")

The Irish do not drink green beer, wear shamrocks or march in festive parades except as a means of meeting expectations for tourists. They probably don't eat green cookies either.

But around here? Any excuse for a party when the granddaughters come to visit. And this recipe was one worth repeating. The pudding mix in the dough makes for a moist cookie. But the crunchy, minty M&Ms give the treat a crispy bite.
It seems to me that the mix-ins in the baking aisles are getting more sparse. Even at the bigger grocery stores or box stores in a regional shopping area, I'm not seeing as much variety as I did a few years ago. I couldn't find the Andes baking bits I was able to buy a few years ago. There were no packages of mint chocolate chips at this time of year, though I think they sold them seasonally at Christmastime. 

But the crunchy mint M&Ms were a hit with my family. You'll find them in the candy aisle - not the baking section. Enjoy!

The girls served some to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Moore. They liked them, too. We hope you do, too! Enjoy!
 Mint Chocolate Pudding Cookies
Adapted from Butter With A Side of Bread blog
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
Green gel food coloring
1 1/2 cups mint M&Ms (I used crunchy mint ones)

Cream together the sugar and the butter. Add egg, vanilla, sour cream and pudding mix. Combine remaining dry ingredients. Incorporate flour mixture into the creamed mixture and mix until well combined. Mix in green gel food coloring until it's the desired color. Stir in mint M&Ms. Use a cookie scoop and put onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for approximately 10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack (or other cooling method).

  • I used crunchy M&Ms and my family members were fans of the texture. Regular mint M&Ms are also available.
  • I had looked for mint chocolate chips in the baking aisle and couldn't find them. Mint chocolate chips or Andes mint baking pieces would be options.You could also chop up Andes mints.
  • I used gel food coloring, which gives a nice green without having to use a ton of food coloring. However, the original recipe called for 3 drops blue plus 10-15 drops of green regular food coloring. 
  • Recipes always call for removing to cooling racks. I grew up cooling cookies on the counter. We used old newspaper and covered it with waxed paper. That works, too!
  • The original recipe called for peppermint extract. I'm not a fan. So I didn't add that. Feel free to do so if you'd prefer. 


  1. Yummy! How wonderful to have this cooking time with your Granddaughters.
    Do you actually have a given holiday for St Patrick's day?

    1. Yes, we do in the U.S. There are larger American cities like Boston and Chicago that turn their rivers and fountains green on March 17. There may be parades, etc., in Kansas City or Wichita, but not as big as those celebrations in cities where there has traditionally been populations with Irish heritage. Of course, with the Covid-19 fears this year, some of those festivities may be curtailed, who knows? I have always enjoyed decorating my house for holidays of all sorts. So, even though neither Randy or I have a a drop of Irish blood, I have a touch of the green decorating my house at the moment. And I always look for an excuse to do something fun with the girls based on holidays. I've already bought Easter wall hangings they can paint.

  2. That's so interesting. Perhaps more celebrations in the US than in Eire. FRank had an Irish Uncle living in Boston for many, many years and I now recall that he never let go of Irish traditions.
    Enjoy the 17th!