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Christmas Cookie Experiments: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I’ve never been confident about baking. I remember being told early in life that baking was like chemistry and that terrifies me. I don’t like precise measurements or the thought that the slightest misstep could end in a giant explosion…or bad cookies. And let’s be honest here, biting into a scrumptious looking chocolate goodie to find it tastes horrible is about as bad as a giant explosion. So is pulling a cake out of the oven to find it collapsed on itself. To avoid any self-loathing from poorly baked goods, I tend to steer clear of cookies and cakes and candies.

But this year I opted to make a change. I decided it was time to set aside my high school fear of science and be a big girl. I busted out the measuring cups and mixer and tiptoed into the mystical world of Christmas cookies.

While I was making large, life-altering decisions like that, I also thought it would be a great idea to give cookies as my Christmas presents to everyone. No pressure for the nervous baker, right?

My week has been a flour-dusted, sugarcoated, double chocolate haze. My good friends Bing Crosby and Tony Bennett have sung me along, as I pulled gorgeous cookies out of the oven. And I’m happy to report that everything (so far…) has turned out perfect!

Mr. Grinch shouldn’t be touched with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole – unless you’re into the whole garlic-in-the-soul kind of thing. Similarly, unless you adore chocolate, avoid these first cookies. By adore, I mean you should be keen on the idea of devouring rich, decadent chocolate that could send you into a food coma.

I am that kind of chocolate fan, so, well, I’m very excited to deliver these cookies and get them out of my refrigerator. They’re just so tempting…

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Yields 50 cookies

I made these cookies first, because they can be frozen for up to 3 weeks in an airtight bag. Just bring to room temperature before serving!

2 ½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp instant coffee powder
1 ½ tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup Ande’s peppermint baking chips

Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, use aluminum foil; you’ll just need to watch the cookies closely towards the end of baking to make sure they don’t burn.

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, coffee powder, and salt in medium bowl.

Beat butter in an electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add eggs; beat until well blended.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips. Pour about 2/3 of melted chocolate into the bowl of your mixer and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients; beat to blend.

Spoon a level tablespoon of dough into your palm and roll to form a ball. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing balls about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake cookies 8-9 minutes.

Cool cookies 5 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks. Reheat remaining chocolate. Using a fork, drizzle melted chocolate over cookies and top with peppermint bites. Chill 20 minutes to set chocolate.

Picnic tip:  A small tin is the perfect way to take your cookies to a friend’s house as a gift. If you’re going to an outdoor picnic and worried about ingredients melting, pack the cookies in a small baggie and place them in your insulated cooler.

1 Comment

  1. YAY. you’re a baker now !!!!!!

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