Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
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
3 eggs
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

  1. In the microwave or in a saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently, over medium heat. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. 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.
  4. Divide the dough and scrape onto plastic wrap, shaping roughly into logs. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour. 
  5. 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. 
 Full disclosure: The framework for the original chocolate cookie recipe comes from the Rachel Ray recipe for "Hot Cocoa Cookies," but I abandoned that idea and took it in this direction. 

No comments: