Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies

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Makes 12 cookies
Adapted from: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
Originally from December 2013 on my old blog

Knowing how to cook is an extremely helpful skill. You know why? It’s hard to shop for gifts for people. People can be picky, hard to please, and try and tell you that they don’t want anything. But, there’s something universal that everyone loves and everyone wants: good food. Am I right or am I right? Bringing a friend or loved one some delicious homemade food shows that you care, and is also cheaper (most of the time) than buying them something fancy.

I was looking for a cookie recipe that really captured the essence of Christmas, and when I stumbled across this, I knew it was the one. Chocolate and crushed candy canes? Perfection.

I doubled this recipe to make about 50 cookies and gave two, wrapped in an adorable bag with a little bow, to each of my friends at school, and everyone loved them. I know it sounds corny, but I honestly like giving more than i like receiving. Happy holidays!

Ingredients:
~2 ½ cups (16 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips (no more than 61% cacao), divided
~1 ½ cups all purpose flour
~¼ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
~1 teaspoon baking powder
~1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
~½ teaspoon salt
~½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
~1 cup sugar
~1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~1 teaspoon peppermint extract
~2 large eggs
~4 candy canes or 16 red-and-white- striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave on high power for 45 seconds. Stir. If un-melted pieces remain continue microwaving and stirring the chocolate in twenty-second intervals until it is all melted and smooth. Measure 2/3 cup melted chocolate; transfer to small microwave-safe bowl and reserve for drizzling.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and both extracts; beat until smooth. Add eggs; beat to blend. Beat in melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients; beat just to blend.
Roll a tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies 1 ½  inches apart.
Bake cookies in preheated oven until cracked all over, about 8 to 9 minutes (they will feel a little soft in the center; that’s okay, they will harden up as they cool. Don’t overcook them). Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment paper to cooling racks to cool completely.
Rewarm reserved 2/3 cup chocolate in the microwave on high for 10 second intervals until smooth. Place melted chocolate in a ziploc bag and snip off the very tip of the bag. Gently squeeze chocolate drizzles all over the cookie (or, just spoon out the melted chocolate from the bowl and spread it on top of the cookie carefully; I find this is much easier). Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Chill just until chocolate sets, about 20 minutes.

Happy dining!!

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