I promised y’all I’d be posting a lot more during this holiday season. And so this week of Cookies for Santa continues. Today’s featured treat: Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. To be more specific: they’re chocolate cookies, dipped in melted dark chocolate and then dipped in crushed peppermint candy canes. I mean, does it get more Christmas-y than that?!
When I was trying to think of ideas for these cookies, I knew I wanted to make snickerdoodles. But as for the other two kinds, I was kind of at a loss. Then I got it stuck in my head that I wanted to dip a cookie into some chocolate. A good friend of mine, Anna, gave me a whole bunch of baking stuff before her family moved away. Included in those items: Ghirardelli chocolate melting wafers. So, the idea to dip something came partly from that. I also just got it in my head that it would look super cool!
As for what kind of cookie to make–I decided that chocolate was the way to go. Now, I’m someone who believes there’s no such thing as too much chocolate. So this choice as mostly selfish. Thus, I apologize for the amount of chocolate in this recipe. (But, I’m not actually that sorry). I also just like the continuity of the chocolate-on-chocolate look. It really makes the crushed peppermint pop!
Oh, and it worked out best for the flavor! One of the most special things about the holiday season is holiday traditions. There are a lot of ways to celebrate Christmas. But I’m betting that the nuances of what how you spend it are what make it special to you. Well, that’s sort of what I was thinking of when I decided on these flavors. Mint chocolate is a classic, traditional flavor. It also happens to be one of my all-time favorites. So it seemed like a no-brainer that these cookies should be chocolate peppermint.
Like I said before, cookies are extremely easy to bake. And once you’ve made one kind a few dozen times, you could pretty much make any kind. The procedure is pretty much the same: first, create a flour mixture (flour, spices, salt, baking powder or soda). In a mixer add butter and sugar to cream together, until little crystallized balls form. Then, add your eggs one at a time to add wetness to the batter. Last, add your flour mixture in batches until you get a nice doughy texture.
Again, this is where nuance is important. Sure, the procedure is pretty much the same, but the flavors, the customization, the additions–that’s what makes a cookie special. That’s also what makes each time you bake a little different. In this case, the peppermint is the real star of these chocolate peppermint cookies. Once you’ve baked your cookies, let them cool down enough to hold without crumbling. While they’re cooling, crush up some peppermint candy canes in a food processor, spice grinder, blender, etc. I don’t have any of those things, so I opted for some good ole fashioned rolling pin action. It’s actually pretty cathartic, if ya know what I mean!
I will admit, the hardest part of this process for me was actually the dipping. I mean not actually dipping–that’s pretty easy. But just figuring out the best way to go about it without making a gigantic mess. Spoiler alert: I failed at this. After making about 2 dozen of these bad boys, I still have no idea what the best way to go is. The easiest way was definitely to dip in the chocolate, drain off the excess, and then immediately dip into the crushed candy canes to coat. But again, not the cleanest way. Anyways, after that, let it cool on a wire rack completely. You want the dipped chocolate to solidify–not harden. Also, you don’t want the candy canes to be falling off and letting the chocolate cool down will help with that.
Again, I’m not sure exactly what the best way is. I also tried dipping, putting on the wire rack, and then sprinkling the candy canes by hand over top. That worked well–especially when you put the cooling rack on a baking sheet to catch the excess. But it didn’t look as nice with the peppermint. I ended up sprinkling a lot of the powdery stuff rather than the crushed parts. Either way, this could be a fun one to make with family, especially kiddos. Who knows? Maybe getting messy making Santa’s chocolate peppermint cookies could be another family tradition for the holidays. Eating them definitely should be!
What are your favorite holiday traditions? I want to hear all about it!
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter at room temp
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Ghiradelli dark chocolate melting wafers melted
- 1/2 cup peppermint candy canes crushed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside. In a stand mixer, cream the brown sugar and butter until it crystallizes.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Slowly meter in the four mixture in batches. Mix well after each addition. You want the batter to be doughy and not too wet.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop out the dough onto a greased baking sheet--at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Let it cool completely on a wire rack--about 5 minutes.
While the cookies cool, melt the chocolate wafers as instructed on the package. Crush the peppermint candy canes. Take another wire rack and place it on top of a cookie sheet.
Dip one side of the chocolate cookies in the melted chocolate. Shake off excess drippings. Dip the chocolate side into the bowl of crushed candy canes. Set on wire rack to solidify--about 5 minutes. Serve for Santa!