Recipe Box

Starlight Mint Surprise Cookies

This simple, delicious cookie is a Christmas family tradition I inherited from my mother in law. My husband has enjoyed these cookies since he was a child, and still gets excited about the prospect of enjoying one or possibly six. His inner child is never far from the surface, and can always be lured out with a tasty treat.

I found a nice article about this cookie that ran in the Chicago Tribune in April, 2015. It seems the Holutas are not the only family that adores Starlight Mint Surprise Cookies! The article goes into some detail about the challenge of obtaining the mint surprise. In a pinch, Andes mint candies will work, but it’s best to try to find a minty, chocolatey disk. If you’ve discovered a good, reliable source, let me know about it. I’m currently using the last of my Trader Joe’s UFO stash, and some Ghirardelli dark chocolate baking wafers.

Starlight Mint Surprise Cookies

Makes 75 cookies

3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 each egg
1 tsp vanilla
75 ea pecan or walnut halves
75 ea chocolate mint wafers

In a medium size mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar.

To the creamed sugar mixture, add the eggs and vanilla. Mix with a spoon until well blended.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, a half cup at a time, mixing thoroughly with a large spoon.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for two hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take a teaspoon of dough and roll between the palms of your hands into a ball. Place it on the cookie sheet. Gently press a chocoate wafer down on the ball, flattening the dough and imbedding the wafer.

Roll another teaspoon of dough and place on top of the chocolate wafer. Gently flatten it to completely cover the chocolate wafer. Try to keep the shape of the dough nice and round. These cookies don’t ‘melt’ while cooking, so the shape you make now is the shape your final cookie will have.

Repeat, cookie assembly process, leaving two inches of space between cookies, to fill the cookie sheet.

Place a nut half on top of each cookie and press it lightly to bond it.

Bake 8 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Gently transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

A serving size is three cookies. (Unless you are a Holuta, then a serving size is ‘until you fall over’)

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.


    • Lori Alden Holuta

      When I first made this recipe, MANY years ago, I used chocolate mint wafers from Fannie Farmer. Those are no longer available. I’ve had good luck with various substitutes since then – I even used Andes mint candy rectangles one year and they were delicious. You can use any sort of chocolate you can find that will nest nicely into the cookie center. In a pinch, 6-8 chocolate chips heaped in there will work, too. Good luck and I’d love to hear what you find to make your cookies!

  • Marlene Butts

    Hi Lori,
    Thank you for the recipe. It sounds a
    lot like grandma Levelys Ice box cookies. I will try them after Christmas and see. Hers didn’t have the candy or nuts. Lonnie and Donie are both here for Christmas. First Christmas without Sherrie, really miss her. Remembering the Christmas eve’s she would come over to my house and bake her cookies.

    • Lori Alden Holuta

      It’s a wistful Christmas, my first one without my dad. I do miss those days we’d drive over to your house from Duarte and spend Christmas with you! So fun to be among all my cousins. Sherrie will be missed, indeed. Love to you and sending hugs to Lonnie and Donie, too!

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