mint slice lucky stars

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Happy Saint Patrick's Day y'all! I know that neither I, nor any of my friends or relatives are Irish (actually, apart from two... you know who you are) and therefore this is a holiday that is not a holiday for me. So my wishing for you to have a happy one is essentially me saying 'have a really nice day today guys, wear green if you like but no big deal'. And I did, thankyou for asking. I wore a green apron to work, I noticed other people who were wearing green, and I served Irish people failing to realise they were Irish and therefore not wishing them a happy Patty's Day (little fail there, but you can't win them all). 

Anyway, I love an excuse to make treats and this is one. So. Happy Saint Patrick's Day y'all!

The treats I made today? Mint slice lucky stars! Because we are in Australia and in Australia we love mint (ahem, Minties and Mint Slice...?)and we love Arnotts, and this day is an Irish day and the Irish are very lucky (ahem ahem, the 'luck of the Irish'). Also they have green in them. Because what is the best way to celebrate the coming together of two cultures? Sweeping generalisations and cliches!

Sweeping generalisations and cliches aside though, these biscuits are pretty good. They are like Mint Slices but better (sorry Arnotts). They even taste healthy because they are filled with mint (ahem, mint essence). They aren't healthy though, not even close. But they are good, it is Saint Patrick's Day and I am nearly twenty-five. Delicious biscuit time!!

mint slice lucky stars (adapted from Sweet Envy's Mit Mats)

INGREDIENTS

for the biscuits:

160g plain flour

40g Dutch cocoa powder

60g icing sugar

120g butter

pinch of sea salt

1 small egg, lightly beaten

for the mint creme:

150g butter

85g icing sugar

30ml milk

half a vanilla bean, halved lengthways, seeds scraped

1/2 tsp peppermint flavour

a little green colouring

for the ganache:

50g dark chocolate

50ml thin cream

METHOD

for the biscuits:

Sift the flour, cocoa and icing sugar together in a bowl and add the salt and butter. Rub together until you have a fine crumb. Add the egg little by little until you can form a dough with as little mixing as possible (about 3/4 of the egg mix). Form into two or three balls, wrap in glad wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours (it will keep in the fridge for a few days).

Preheat the oven to 180c. Line some baking trays with baking paper. Roll the dough out to about 5mm thick and use a cookie cutter to cut your cookies. I probs wouldn't bother with the star shapes... circles would be quite appropriate here (and easier to fill). 

Space out on baking trays and bake for about ten minutes- to check if they're done gently shake the tray back and forward- if they move, they are done. 

Cool on trays. 

for the mint creme:

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar into oblivion (at least 8 minutes). Gently heat the milk and vanilla seeds and pod in a saucepan and leave off the heat to steep for 5 minutes. Discard the vanilla pods and pour the milk into the butter mix. Beat gently to incorporate- careful you don't splash it all over your kitchen. Mix in the peppermint (taste and adjust as you go) and the colouring.  

for the ganache:

Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate. Leave for two minutes. Using a hand whisk, mix the cream and chocolate into a smooth, shiny ganache- careful not to aerate too much as this will create bubbles. 

to assemble:

Match up your biscuits so each one has a friend. Smooth a layer of mint creme on each biscuit, then dollop a little ganache on one side and sandwich together. 

Make a cup of tea, sit in the sun, and enjoy!