It was a sunny autumnal day up here in North Yorkshire yesterday and was a complete contrast to the day before. All that rain made me think, “Oh this is it, all downhill from here on until Spring!” I was wrong as we had lovely weather. Now today as I type we are back to the damp and misty conditions. However, I was in really good spirits yesterday. Although my son had now gone down with the horrible cough that I had last week and was tucked up on the sofa underneath the duvet, I had two whole days off as I worked all my hours at the beginning of the week. I love my job as a teaching assistant but I was grateful for the time at home to catch up on everything at home.
By yesterday afternoon I had done a few jobs, the huge compulsion to bake came back. I was trying not to but my son complained that he was hungry. Feed a cold, starve flu as they say! He had eaten a ham sandwich at lunchtime but as he has hollow legs being a growing teenager, he asked if we had any biscuits. I don’t buy them as I know I’d trough the lot before I’d got them into the biscuit tin!
In the end I remembered I had bought some mint flavoured M&M’s last Friday when I was in Leeds at Gob Stoppers, the American sweet shop in Trinity Leeds. At over £5 for a 225g bag they were much more expensive than the plain or peanut M&M’s you can get in the UK. But as I love all things mint I bought them! I thought they would make great cupcake toppings.
In the end they got turned into chocolate mint M&M cookies. I adapted a recipe I use from BBC Good Food which is for Smarties Cookies. These cookies have been made many times over and over for many occasions and if I haven’t got Smarties handy I sometimes substitute chocolate M&M’s! This is how I adapted the recipe:
Instead of 350g of plain flour, I used 300g plain flour and 50g cocoa powder.
Instead of 1 tsp vanilla extract I used 1 tsp peppermint extract.
Instead of the Smarties I used the whole bag of peppermint M&M’s. I put half of the quantity of M&M’s in the mixture itself. Then about approximately halfway through the cooking time I got the trays out of the oven, banged the trays on the worktop* and studded the remaining M&M’s on the top of the cookies.
* This is a fab tip I picked up from the lovely Jo Wheatley who won the Great British Bake Off in 2011. Ever since I read about banging the tray on the top of the cooker in her Passion For Baking Book, I have done it with my cookies and it works a treat!
I will definitely make these cookies again in the future but as the M&M’s were expensive, it won’t be too often. Perhaps that’s a good thing for my waistline, too!
Love Sam xx