Holiday Baking: Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
And... we're off! Holiday baking has officially begun. Yesterday I got an email from GC asking if I could bake some sort of treat for him to contribute to his office holiday party. Sure, I said, when? Oh, tomorrow. So, after work, I pawed through my baking supplies to see what I had to work with. A bag of Andes Peppermint Crunch looked good, but I didn't have the rest of the ingredients to make either of the recipes on the back of the bag. I turned to my vast collection of cookie recipes and found one that would work. The original recipe called for a bag of chocolate chips and some crushed up candy canes to be added to a chocolate cookie batter. Out with the chips and canes, in with the peppermint crunch. Done!
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa
1 bag Andes Peppermint Crunch
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and mint extract.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, beating until blended.
Fold in peppermint crunch; drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 3 inches apart, onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 12 to 14 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 2-1/2 dozen
Adapted from Southern Living, DECEMBER 1997
I also changed the fat in these cookies. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of butter plus 1/4 c. of shortening. I no longer keep shortening around, so I just doubled the butter. This caused the cookies to spread out more, producing a thinner, crisper cookie. If you want big, fluffy cookies, then use half butter and half shortening. Shortening helps the cookie to keeps it's shape when baking.
These cookies were really good, with a nice mint flavor that wasn't overpowering or astringent, as some mint cookies seem to be. I'm not doing a whole lot of holiday baking this year because I'm flying home for the holidays and don't want to stuff my suitcase with fragile cookies, but the next time I go to a cookie swap or design a holiday cookie tray, these cookies will be included. For sure.
Getting to Know All About You: What's your favorite holiday treat?