Mint Viennese Whirls

Episode 5 of Food Network Canada’s Great Chocolate Showdown rolls around and it’s pushing the boundaries on flavor combinations. This one’s all about the TEA! Using tea leaves we have to incorporate the selected flavor into a selection of bakes/ desserts fit for a high tea party. Out of the tea flavors to be selected from (Rooibos; Mint; Sencha Green; Milk Oolong; Chai Masala and Earl Grey) I ended up with Mint. Although this is the most well known, and probably most popular, it could be seen as more of a curse than as blessing due to it’s popularity. Is it a flavor that has been done to death?

Of the two desserts that I chose to present, these Viennese Whirls are my personal favorite. Buttery crumbly shortbread like cookies that are usually sandwiched together with a duo of buttercream and jam, I chose here to use the fillings to incorporate the mint flavor. Infusing a heavy cream base allowed it to be added both the buttercream filling and the feature chocolate ganache. What results is a mint flavor that avoids falling into the cliched “mouthwash mint” territory but remains palatable and interesting in these 2-bite sandwich cookies.

Mint Viennese Whirls #recipe #greatchocolateshowdown

Makes apx 16 sandwich cookies


Infused cream base

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp mint tea leaves


  • 250g very soft butter
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 25g cornflour

Buttercream filling

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 4 tsp tea infused cream
  • ¼ tsp mint tea leaves (ground to a powder)

Chocolate Ganache filling

  • 2oz Dark Chocolate
  • ¼ tsp mint tea leaves (ground to a powder)
  • ¼ cup Infused cream, warmed to just below boiling
  • 1 Tbsp icing sugar

To Decorate (optional)

  • 3oz Dark chocolate, melted


Infused cream base

  1. In a small pan combine the heavy cream and mint tea. Stir well
  2. Heat and continue to stir until the cream reaches just below boiling
  3. Remove from heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. After this time, pour through a sieve to strain the tea leaves, pressing to remove traces of cream and set aside until needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment or pre-marked silpat sheets
  2. Measure the butter and icing sugar into a bowl, beating until pale & fluffy
  3. Sift in the flour with cornflour and beat on a medium high speed, until thoroughly mixed
  4. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle (Wilton 2D). Pipe swirled rounds (size 1 1/2″ dia) on to prepared baking sheets
  5. Bake in the center of the oven for 12—13 minutes, until a pale golden-brown at the edges. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then carefully transfer, with a spatula or palette knife, to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool divide cookies into 2 equal portions (I find it best here to sort through the batch and match up cookies of the same size)

Buttercream Filling

  1. Measure the butter into a bowl, sift the icing sugar and tea powder on top
  2. Add the infused cream, beat on medium speed until well combined. Increase to high speed and whip until very light and smooth
  3. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle (Wilton 32)
  4. Taking one portion of the cookies, pipe a border onto the flat side of the cookies, leaving a void in the middle

Chocolate Ganache filling

  1. Warm the infused cream to just below boiling. In a separate bowl combine the chocolate and icing sugar. Pour over the warmed cream
  2. Leave for 5 minutes
  3. Stir and whisk until smooth and fully emulsified
  4. Leave to cool until semi-firm (transfer to fridge to firm up but not solid)
  5. When firm pipe into center of the cookie with buttercream filling, and seal with it’s matching cookie from the second portion batch, twisting slightly to seal

To Decorate (optional)

  • Using a piping back with the end snipped off, drizzle some chocolate lightly over the assembled cookies. Leave for the chocolate to set- if you can wait that long!

#Recipe #ChocolateChip Day

A food lover’s calendar is choc-full (pardon the pun!) of days on which to celebrate, indulge and extol the virtues of food stuffs galore. In fact I’m pretty certain that if you research hard enough you’ll find that every single day is bequeath to some food or ingredient somewhere in the world. Not that I’m complaining! On that note, May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Day here in North American waters. And without further ado I present not one but TWO culinary efforts in homage to that humble morsel of cocoa goodness.

My “Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies” are chocolate, chocolate, chocolate lovers dream! Crumbly mint chocolate cookie studded with chocolate chips, enrobed in a smooth, dark chocolate case. Absolute perfection with a glass of ice-cold milk. Girl scouts eat your hearts out!

The second cookie that we have, “Choc Chip Short Oat Cookies” are a wonderful hybrid between buttery, crumbly shortbread and a classic oatmeal cookie. Easy to bake they’re also a handy one to have ready should you be looking for an afternoon activity with little hands.

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Peppermint Cookies 1

Ingredients (makes apx 50)
Chocolate Cookies:

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet

Chocolate Peppermint Coating:

16oz chocolate, semi-sweet, broken into pieces

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Making the cookies:
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and powdered sugar until well combined (apx 10 mins) Add the vanilla extract, peppermint extract, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is well combined and there are no pockets of cocoa dust
  • Add the flour and mix until you have crumbly dough
  • Gather the dough into a ball, and knead it together on a counter for about 3-5 mins It should become somewhat smoother. (Don’t worry if it’s still a little crumbly)
  • Divide the dough in 2, flatten into disks, and wrap in cling wrap. Chill in a refrigerator for 15-20 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line two baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment
  • Roll dough out to a thickness of 6mm. I used a rolling-pin with guides to get a consistent thickness. A trick I found that works really well is to roll the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment. Not only are the cookies easier to lift, it also saves on counter top mess and cleaning up!
  • Cut out cookies (I use a 2 “ cutter) and place, spaced apart, on the pre-lined baking sheets
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the trays for 3-5 mins. Then careful remove to wire racks and allow to cool completely
  • When your cookies have cooled completely prepare your chocolate coating

Peppermint Cookies

Making the coating:
  • In a bowl set over hot water in a pan, slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally
  • Add in the peppermint extract and stir to combine. It may look like it’s caused the chocolate to separate and become grainy but fear not! Keep stirring and it’ll come right in the end.
Finishing the cookies:
  • With a fork in each hand, gently drop the cookies one at a time into the chocolate coating
  • Using the forks, flip to coat all sides. Lift the cookie out of the chocolate with one of the forks and allow any excess chocolate to drip off the cookie back into the bowl
  • Place the freshly coated cookie on a parchment lined counter, and repeat
  • Allow the cookies to cool at room temperature until ready. They’ll be ready in a couple of hours but I find it best to leave them overnight. They can be stored in an airtight tin for 3-5 days. (Use baking parchment to separate the layers and prevent sticking)

Peppermint Cookies 3

*When dipping the baked cookies you’ll get to a point where it becomes too awkward to flip and properly coat the cookies in the melted chocolate. I transfer the remaining chocolate to a piping bag and drizzle it over the remaining cookies.

Peppermint Cookies 4

Choc Chip Short Oat Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients (makes apx 48)

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups cake flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup quick-cooking oats

12oz chocolate chips, semi-sweet

  • Heat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment
  • In large bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar until light, fluffy and well combined
  • Add in the flour, baking soda, vanilla and oats., and mix until well combined
  • Stir in chocolate chips
  • On pre-lined baking sheets, drop dough by teaspoonfuls. Space them apx 2 inches apart
  • Bake in the preheated oven for between 11 to 13 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for 5 mins
  • After 5 minutes carefully transfer the baked cookies to wire racks and allow to cool completely
  • Enjoy!