Dutched Delight: Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies

When I’m working on a new recipe, I always start on paper. I write down the skeleton of my recipe, then go to the kitchen to try it out. When I initially sketched out these Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies, I instinctively included Dutch-process cocoa powder. Would you like to know why?

There are two basic types of cocoa powder: Dutch-process cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder. Dutch-process is made from cacao beans that have been washed in a potassium solution. Dutching the beans neutralizes their acidity and makes the powder darker. Natural cocoa powder is simply made from ground, roasted cacao beans.

FNK CHOCOLATE GUIDE, Food Network Kitchen, Natural Cocoa, Dutch-­process Cocoa, Semi-­sweet and Bittersweet Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Baking Chocolate, Unsweetened Chocolate

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

FNK CHOCOLATE GUIDE, Food Network Kitchen, Natural Cocoa, Dutch-­process Cocoa, Semi-­sweet and Bittersweet Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Baking Chocolate, Unsweetened Chocolate

To me, natural cocoa powder has a somewhat fruity chocolate flavor. I like it in cakes where the light color and acidity are welcome. In this recipe for Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies I chose Dutch-process cocoa powder for its dark color and smooth finish.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies

Generally speaking, the two are not interchangeable. If you’re in a pinch and the recipe calls for less than 3/4 cup, you can substitute natural cocoa powder for Dutch-process, but not the other way around.

Samantha Seneviratne is a New York-based writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She is the author of The New Sugar and Spice (Ten Speed Press) and Gluten Free for Good (Clarkson Potter). She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake.

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