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Chocolate Mint Shortbreads

Chocolate Shortbread: In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and beat just until a dough forms.

Divide the dough in half. Place each half of dough on a 14 inch (35 cm) length of parchment or wax paper. Smooth and shape the dough into an evenly shaped rectangle that is about 10 - 12 inches (25 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Then thoroughly wrap the shaped logs in the parchment or wax paper, twists the ends of the paper to seal the logs, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or up to three days. (The logs can also be frozen for about two months. If freezing, it is best to defrost the logs in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and baking.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) with the rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a thin bladed knife, slice the logs into 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.5 to 1 cm) thick cookies. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until the cookies are dry and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Mint Ganache: Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let the chocolate sit for a few minutes then stir to combine. Stir in the peppermint extract. Set aside to let the ganache completely cool and become thick enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

To Assemble Cookies:  Take one chocolate shortbread and spread a small tablespoon of the ganache on the flat side of the cookie. Top with a second shortbread, flat side down, and press gently so the ganache spreads to the edges of the sandwich cookie. Repeat with the remaining shortbread cookies. Can be stored in a container at room temperature for several days.

Makes about 20 - 24 sandwich cookies.

Chocolate Shortbreads:

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch-processed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Mint Ganache:

6 ounces (170 grams) semi sweet chocolate, chopped (or 1 cup (170 grams) chocolate chips)

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract