These were my favorites of the cookie baking madness of early December, so much that I made them twice! The first time happened because I picked up a bag of Trader Joe's Peppermint Bark Baking Bits, which is my preferred ingredient. Trader Joe's tends to get seasonal food in one time and then not have it again for a year, so when I went back for more, they were cleaned out. I chopped up a bag of Andes Peppermint Crunch but it wasn't quite the same. Still good. The photo pictures the Andes, with the red and white stripe. I suppose you could make these with crushed up candy canes, but the bark has sweeter white chocolate that adds a lovely texture to the cookies.
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter
12 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (Baker's chocolate is fine)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional, may use vanilla instead)
1 bag Trader Joe's Peppermint Bark Baking Bits or Andes Peppermint Crunch, chopped
- In the microwave or in a saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently, over medium heat. Let cool for 15 minutes.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
- Beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla at low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture gradually. Stir in peppermint bark bits or peppermint crunch pieces.
- Divide the dough and scrape onto plastic wrap, shaping roughly into logs. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice 1/4" pieces from log and place 2" apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.