Thursday, December 6, 2012
Peppermint Bark Cookies
I had a craving for peppermint bark earlier this week and I went searching for a good recipe for it. While searching I came across this recipe for chocolate peppermint cookies from Martha Stewart and they sounded even better than just plain old peppermint bark so I went for it. That was Monday night, which was also the first night home after spending a week in China. I was exhausted but I decided to bake something instead of going to sleep. Probably because it was the first time I'd had the opportunity to be in a kitchen in over a week. I had also learned from my time in China that almost no one there has an oven. So I baked in honor of all those people who will never get to enjoy it.
I don't think there was anyone that didn't love these cookies. And how could you not? They're perfect for Christmas and I guarantee if you make these for any kind of cookie exchange, you'll be the winner. I've never done a cookie exchange so I don't think there's actually a winner, but you know everyone picks a favorite so someone really does win, right? And you want to be that winner.
These cookies are made by baking these small chocolate wafers first and then dipping them in white chocolate and then finishing them by sprinkling with crushed peppermint candy. They take a bit longer than other cookies since you have to dip them but it's not overly difficult. Use a good white chocolate (not the chips that are usually not real chocolate) and it should be thin enough to dip without having to add anything else. The dough is very, very sticky so use lots of flour when rolling them out.
Peppermint Bark Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
8 large candy canes, crushed
2 pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, followed by the egg yolk, beating well between each one. Beat in the peppermint extract and then mix in the flour mixture just until combined.
Divide dough in half and wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Roll out each disk to about 1/8 inch thick and using a 2 inch circle cutter, cut out the shapes from the dough. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and then freeze for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cook the cookies for 12 minutes and remove from oven and let cool.
Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Using a fork, dip each cookie in the chocolate, flipping to cover. Let the cookie drip and then scrape the bottom along the edge of the pan. Place the cookie back on the parchment paper and sprinkle with peppermint candy pieces. Repeat with the remaining cookies.