Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies and Santa





Every year I search for a new and exciting Christmas cookie to dazzle my neighbors with.  These are the cookies that made the cut for the neighborhood cookie exchange this year:

Makes 6 Dozen

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 ounces (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

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  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 minute.  Reduce speed to medium-low, and add egg, then 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 plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days).

2. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness.  Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.  Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out circles, and place 1 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets.  Roll and cut scraps once.  Freeze cookies until firm, about 15 minutes.  Repeat with remaining disk.  

3. Bake until cookies are dry to the touch, about 12 minutes.  Transfer parchment, with cookies, to wire racks, and let cool.  (Undecorated cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.)

4.  Sift crushed candy, and separate larger pieces from dust, reserving both.  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.  Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of either candy pieces or dust on top.  Repeat, sprinkling half the cookies with pieces and the rest with dust.  Refrigerate until set, up to 3 hours.  Decorated cookies are best served the same day.  

5 comments:

jessieg said...

Those cookies look so delish! Love AJ's hair. Looks like he was just appeasing Santa when he gave him a hug, like, 'If I must.' He's too cute.

jessieg said...

Those cookies look so delish! Love AJ's hair. Looks like he was just appeasing Santa when he gave him a hug, like, 'If I must.' He's too cute.

Brenda said...

I think the first pic you posted of AJ on Santa's lap is my favorite pic of AJ ever! Is he saying HO HO HO? Where did you find such a classic Santa!? I can't want to spend time with the little guy (AJ, altho Santa would be fun, too...)

The Yeadons said...

That is an amazing Santa! I can't believe how big A.J. looks! Oh, and those cookies- anytime you want an excuse to make those you give me a call!:)

The Lynch Mob said...

Hi! I really like your blog. We took the kids to see Santa at Chris' work and the same Santa was there. I'll have to post our pics with him, but I'm pretty sure it's the exact same one! take a look at our blog
http://coloradolynchmob.blogspot.com