How do I know when something I baked is really, really good? First - I'm unable to stop eating it. Second - I hide it from others. Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit this, but in this season of giving, sharing and doing onto others, I have squirreled away these Chocolate Peppermint Cookies dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies. Oh... I will bring them out eventually, but my fear is if I put them out now and everyone else realizes how good they are, these cookies will be gone well before Christmas. And, I'm afraid I won't have time to make any more.
Martha Stewart Living created a winner with this recipe for Chocolate Peppermint Cookies which was featured in the December 2008 issue of the magazine. After the look on my husband's face when I gave him one (yes, just one), I know this cookie will be on the top of my cookies-to-bake-for-Christmas list again next year and for years to come.
adapted from a recipe in Martha Stewart Living, December 2008
• 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 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
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add the egg, then the yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in peppermint extract. Slowly add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated. Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
2. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out circles and place 1-inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Freeze cookies until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining disk.
3. Bake until cookies are dry to the touch, about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool. (Undecorated cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.)
4. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Remove from heat. Dunk cookies into melted chocolate. Using a fork, turn to coat, let excess drip off, and gently scrape bottom against edge of bowl. (I found it necessary to occasionally put the chocolate back over the simmering water to give it a good dipping consistancy.) Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and sprinkle with crushed candy pieces. Refrigerate until set and store in a tin in a cool place.
Makes 5 Dozen Cookies