Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Every year I make the Christmas cookies that are put out for our big Christmas Eve dinner. Once December hits, the time flies by so I like to make 2 or 3 different kinds of cookies each week after Thanksgiving and then freeze them so that it doesn’t seem like such an huge task. These are the first batch of Christmas cookies for this year, and they also happen to be my favorite cookie. Thin and crisp chocolate peppermint cookies are coated with white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes… they are heaven! Another plus for these is that you get a little more than 4 dozen of them from 1 recipe.

andy canes or peppermint candies and 2 lbs. white candy melts

 Sift 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt into a bowl. Beat5 tbsp softened unsalted butter and 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low and add 1 large eggs, then 1 large egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 tsp pure peppermint extract then slowly add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated. Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out circles, and place on silpat lined baking sheets. I usually fit about 20 cookies to a baking sheet. Freeze cookies until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining disk. Bake until cookies are dry to the touch, about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool. Put candy canes or peppermint candies in a thick ziplock bag and break them up into small pieces (I use a rolling pin). Transfer the crushed peppermint to a small bowl and set aside. 

Place 2 lbs candy melts or white chocolate in a double boiler and melt over medium heat. A little trick I use is to add just a splash of vegetable oil to the chocolate before melting it… it adds a little bit of shine to the chocolate without changing the taste at all. Dunk the cookies in the chocolate one at a time and then, using a fork to hold the cookie, allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Set the chocolate covered cookie on a piece of parchment and sprinkle with the crushed peppermint. Continue until all of the cookies are covered in chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint. To help the cookies set up faster you can transfer them to the freezer for about 10 minutes.

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