Cookies For Christmas

♪♪ I'ts beginning to look a lot like Christmas....♪♪

I couldn't resist making these this week....I've been saving the recipe since last year. Such fun. Even unfrosted the chocolate cookies are delicious. Boring looking, but really good. I wasn't certain about the peppermint extract- worried about the amount and that it might be too strong a flavor for the cookies- but it wasn't. Very mild and just the right touch. (Frankly, leaving enough cookies to dip in the white chocolate will be your main problem!)

Are you thinking Girl Scout Mint Cookies here?

So. I thought it might be clever to arrange the cookies and candy the way it was done in the magazine photo. Never had so much fun alone in the kitchen. Choked. Up. With. Laughter. First: take a hammer to the candies. Then: trying to balance uneven peppermint candies in a tall pile is a simply absurd idea. There was even supposed to be one standing upright on top of the tall pile of candies (which in my photo resembles the leaning tower of Pisa). Cute idea to balance the candy on top, but it won't work. Short of using super glue anyway. The pile fell a dozen times before I finally threw in the towel. No doubt the magazine hot-glue-gunned it all together. In the end I licked 'em and hoped they'd stick together. So you are seeing the real thing here- no glue, all imperfections of the amateur (understatement of the week) food designer showing. It was still fun.
The contortions we go through to get decent photos!

Now for a couple practical notes: You can melt your chocolate in the microwave. Carefully. In 20 second increments, stirring after each 20 seconds. Stop before it is completely melted and stir until it's all melted. Then spoon the chocolate over the cookies while they are on a rack...forget the dipping by hand experience. Messy. You may need to give it a quick zap to reheat your chocolate a couple times to keep it as thin as possible-which isn't easy with white chocolate. No real need to cover the bottom of the cookie with the chocolate anyway unless you are an extreme chocoholic OR taking a photograph.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
(Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, December 2008)


1 cup all purpose flour plus more for surface
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
8 large candy canes or 30 peppermint candies, crushed
2 pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 325°. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
Beat butter and sugar with a mixer for 1 minute. Add egg, then yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in peppermint extract. Slowly add flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Mold dough into 1 large disk and cut in half. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least an hour (or up to two days).
Roll out 1 disk on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Use a 2" cookie cutter to cut out circles and place them on parchment paper. Freeze until firm, at least 15 minutes.
Repeat with remaining disk.

Bake until cookies are dry to the touch, about 12 minutes. Transfer parchment, with cookies, to wire racks and allow to cool. Try not to eat all the cookies at this point. (Undecorated cookies will keep up to 3 days, covered.)

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Remove from heat and dunk cookies into the melted chocoate. Turn cookies using a fork; let excess drip off and gently scrape the bottom of the cookies against the edge of the bowl. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the crushed candy.

Refrigerate until set, up to 3 hours. Decorated cookies are best served the same day.

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