Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Bittersweet Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I don't bake very much during the year but when it comes to the Holidays, I become a zealous baking fanatic, scouring old cookbooks for inspiration and baking dozens of cookies for family and friends. It's never easy choosing which ones to make, there are so many great recipes but so little time!

I've always been partial to any cookie with mint (Mint Milanos are my favorite!) perhaps because the flavor reminds me of my childhood and the homemade peppermint twist candy that filled a crystal bowl at Christmas every year. In the past, I've made Peppermint Bark with dark, white and milk chocolate which was always a great crowd-pleaser but this year I wanted to try something a little different.  I saw a recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Peppermint Cookies in Hampton Cottages and Gardens Magazine and knew I had to give it a try. These take a while to make but the result is a delicate, decadent dark chocolate cookie with cool peppermint coating-sublime!

 Recipes by Chef Lorilynn Bauer
Photographs by George Ross
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¾ teaspoons salt
  • 5½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1¾ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1¾ cups cocoa powder
  • 1¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 pounds 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • 3 cups crushed red and white candy canes or hard peppermint candies
Melt chocolate in double boiler, set aside to cool.
In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate.
Shape into logs about 3 inches wide and 12 inches long. Roll in parchment and plastic, freeze overnight.
Remove logs from freezer and defrost in refrigerator. Unwrap from parchment and plastic, cut into even slices about ¼" to ½" thick. Place on nonstick sheet pan, bake at 350 for about 10 - 12 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Beat butter and powdered sugar in mixer. Add peppermint extract. Add food coloring to your taste. Frost one cookie and sandwich it between a second cookie. Roll the edges in crushed candy canes.
Makes about 4 dozen sandwiches.

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