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Posts Tagged ‘chcolate and peppermint cookies’

Frankly, the holiday critters are getting to me. First there was the Thanksgiving scorpion hiding in my roasting pan and now there is a Christmas rat eating styrofoam cups out in my garage. My exhausting holiday schedule doesn’t leave me the energy to deal with them and since my husband is always yelling at me to delegate, I’ve delegated critter control to him. With him on guard and with most of the shopping and wrapping done, I can relax a bit now and get on with the holiday activities I enjoy – number one, baking cookies!

Rich and refreshing – that’s the only way to describe the taste of peppermint and chocolate together. Each of these flavors on it’s own is very distinctive and bold, yet together they complement one another very nicely. Janet Taylor McCracken’s recipe for Double Chocolate-Peppermint Crunch Cookies from Bon Appetit is a delicious example of peppermint and chocolate sinfully combined. This recipe caught my eye because it uses bittersweet chocolate both in the cookie dough and in the drizzle. Bittersweet chocolate is my kind of chocolate. No sissy milk chocolate for me! Adding to the chocolate side of the flavor scale is cocoa powder and espresso powder. To balance that off, peppermint extract is added to the dough and crunchy peppermint candies are sprinkled on top. My daughter says, “Beware! These cookies are so rich, you’d better have a glass of milk on hand!”

Double Chocolate-Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Janet Taylor McCracken – Bon Appetit

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (do not exceed 61% cacao; 15 to 16 ounces), divided
1- 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 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

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir 2 cups chocolate chips in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Measure 2/3 cup melted chocolate; transfer to small metal bowl and reserve for drizzling.

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Add sugar and both extracts; beat until smooth. Add eggs; beat to blend. Beat in melted chocolate from medium bowl. Add dry ingredients; beat just to blend. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Measure 1 level tablespoonful dough; roll dough between palms to form ball. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies 1-1/2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until cracked all over and tester inserted into center comes out with large moist crumbs attached, 8 to 9 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment paper to racks to cool completely.

Rewarm reserved 2/3 cup chocolate over small saucepan of simmering water. Using fork, drizzle chocolate over cookies. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over, arranging some pieces with red parts showing. Chill just until chocolate sets, about 20 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 weeks ahead. Store airtight in freezer. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Ho! Ho! Yum!
Enjoy!

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