Treats for Troops… Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookies & Pretzel Kisses

This week was a double treat week!  With Valentine’s Day approaching I wanted to send some extra goodies along to ‘my’ soldiers!

First up… Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookies.  I don’t know a single person that doesn’t enjoy this flavor combination and since I have been  focusing on treats that kids can easily help with, this recipe jumped to the top of my ‘to try’ list!  With only 4 simple ingredients, you can have a batch of these cookies ready in no time.  I originally found the recipe  via Pinterest of course! (http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/04/andes-mint-cookies.html?showComment=1323739192245#c8874412180426553846)

Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookies
makes 3 dozen

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 bag Andes Candies mints

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2)  In a large bowl mix together cake mix, oil, and eggs

3)  Using a tablestpoon or cookie scoop, scoop even amounts of batter onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  (You can form into balls for nice round cookies or leave them free form.  They do not spread much so I flatened them down a bit.)

4)  Bake 6-8 minutes, remove from oven.  (I bake mine at 7 minutes per our oven)

5)  Immediately place one (unwrapped) candy on top of cookie and return to oven for 1 minute.

6)  Remove from oven and using a small spatula or knife spread melted candy over top of cookie.

7)  Move cookies to cooling rack and allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

These are super yummy and a hit with everyone in the house!  They are so fast and easy, it takes longer for them to cool completely than it does to make & bake them.  The kids enjoyed their job of unwrapping the bag of mints (and eating the extras)!

Since these took no time at all to whip up, we decided to make a second treat to send along.  We made these Pretzel Kisses at Christmastime using chocolate mint kisses and holiday colored M&M’s and sent to our soldiers in their holiday boxes.  The girls spotted a bag of Valentine colors at the store last week and asked if they could make them again.  This is a super kid-friendly treat as they can do pretty much all the steps on their own except for taking the pan in/out of the oven.  Since there so many varieties of both candies used, the flavor combinations are endless!

Pretzel Kisses

1 bag pretzel twists, wheels, or circles
1 bag Hershey Kisses, any variety
1 bag M&M’s, any variety

1)  Preheat oven to 250 degrees

2)  On a parchment lined cookie sheet, spread pretzels out in an even layer

3)  Top each pretzel with a chocolate kiss

4)  Place in oven for 3-5 minutes, just until the chocolate softens but still holds it’s shape.  If they over melt, they tend to be dried out a bit when solid again.

5)  Remove from oven and immeiately place one M&M candy in the center of each kiss pressing down slightly.

6)  Let cool completely, making sure the chocolate has re-solidified before removing from pan and storing in an airtight container.

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