The past few weeks I've been busy busy busy making an obscene amount of Christmas cookies. If you happened to stop by my house you were probably greeted with a desperate "Help eat these cookies!" followed by "No! Not that one, or that one, or that one! Those are for photos! Only eat the ugly ones" (only the very best for my guests..)
The result of my cookie bake-a-thon were three Christmas cookie recipes:
1. Cinnamon shortbread with eggnog glaze: quick and easy for all those Christmas cookie emergencies
2. Painted sugar cookies: sugar cookies flooded with royal icing and painted with food colouring. Perfect for hosting a cookie decorating party. Who doesn't love little pieces of edible art?
3. Chocolate coated peppermint cookies: these were the most popular cookie of the bunch. I made batch after batch after batch and they have all been eaten up.. so I felt that it was only fair to share the recipe.
The first step is baking thin, crispy chocolate wafers. The wafers are similar to the ones used in homemade oreos but with the ratios of egg, flour, and sugar changed up.
Next, a creamy peppermint filling is made out of condensed milk, butter, icing sugar, and peppermint extract. This is pressed onto the little chocolate wafers and then the whole thing is coated in melted chocolate.
Although the majority voted for semi-sweet, there were a few people who preferred the dark chocolate. If you are a dark chocolate lover then just replace part (or all) of the semi-sweet chips with the dark chocolate chips.
The result is a cool minty chocolate treat that's creamy and crunchy at the same time. It's something a bit different and unexpected to add to a cookie platter. These disappeared at an alarming rate from my table, fridge, and freezer. Definitely the most popular cookie at any party.
Chocolate Coated Peppermint Cookies
Makes 40-45 cookies
1 ¼ cups (125g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder
2/3 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 cup (135g) sugar
¼ cup + 1 TBSP unsalted butter at room temperature
½ tsp. peppermint extract
1 tsp. water
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 TBSP butter
2 ½ tsp. peppermint extract
3 drops of red food colouring (optional)
3 cups (380g) icing sugar plus extra if needed
4 ¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tsp. vegetable shortening
Preheat the oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Make the cookies:
In your mixer’s bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Add the butter to the bowl and turn the mixer on medium. Scrape down the bowl and then add the egg, mint extract, and water and mix until well combined. The dough will look crumbly but will stick together when pinched.
Take a teaspoon measure and fill with the crumbly dough. Squish the dough until it is level in the teaspoon and then place on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Use the heel of your hand to flatten the dough into a thin round cookie (approximately 1.5 inches across). Repeat with the remaining dough leaving a half inch between cookies.
Bake for 4 – 5 minutes at 375. After you remove the tray from the oven, slide the entire sheet of parchment paper onto a wire rack. The cookies are fragile at this point and it’s easier to move the paper than it is to move the cookies individually with a spatula. The cookies will be soft at this point but will become crispy as they cool.
While the cookies are cooling, make the peppermint filling.
Make the filling:
Combine the condensed milk, butter, extract, food colouring, and one cup of icing sugar in your mixer’s bowl and stir on low until combined.
Mix in the remaining icing sugar a ½ cup at a time until a dough forms. If the peppermint filling is still too sticky add additional icing sugar one tablespoon at a time until it is smooth enough to handle.
Press approximately a teaspoon of peppermint filling on each cookie. Once the cookies all have peppermint filling on them, place in the fridge or freezer to chill while you prepare the chocolate coating.
Make the coating:
In a deep microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in the microwave for one minute intervals. Stir after each interval until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
To coat the cookies, carefully dip the peppermint side of the cookie into the chocolate. Use a fork to both flip the cookie over and lift it out of the chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Place the dipped cookies in the freezer to harden for an hour before serving.
Serve the cookies within a day or two and store the remaining cookies in the freezer. They will last up to two months when frozen.
Peppermint Patties: Do not make the chocolate cookies. Make the peppermint filling and form into 35 small patties. Chill in freezer then dip in chocolate coating
Peppermint Oreos: Make the chocolate cookies and peppermint filling (but not the chocolate coating). Double the amount of peppermint filling on each cookie then top with another chocolate cookie and serve.