I love our new life in Berlin, but I’m so thankful for this holiday trip back to the US and the time I’ve been able to spend time with my friends and family in New York, Philadelphia, and Virginia. But my traveling has kept me busy, which means our Christmas cookie baking didn’t really kick into gear until this morning. We kept it simple with just a few variations, including these chocolate peppermint beauties I’ve been wanting to try out. I saw these cathedral cookies a few weeks ago and I’ve been stuck on trying out the idea with peppermint candies ever since. The sablé cookie is sandy and just salty enough to offset the sweet minty candy, a really nice addition to the cookie plate. We also tried it out with ginger candies, and the technique would really work with any hard candy. Butterscotch? Cinnamon drops? Yum.
Whether you make these for a last minute Christmas treat or save them for after the New Year, I hope you enjoy. I’m headed to California in the morning to visit more family and friends (with a bag of cookies in tow) and am really looking forward to a festive end to the week. Wherever and however you are celebrating, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Peppermint Chocolate Cookies, adapted from Bon Appetit
Servings: 3 dozen cookies
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cups (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cups (lightly packed) dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ large egg white
½ cup peppermint hard candies, crushed with a mallet
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, combine the butter and sugar and cream using the paddle attachment on a handheld mixer or stand mixer. Mix together until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly stir in the flour mixture, then add the vanilla and egg white half. Mix just until the dough comes together and turn out onto a piece of parchment paper, creating a 1-inch thick log. Roll up in parchment paper and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a sheet tray with a non-stick mat or parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut roll into ¼-inch thick rounds. Roll rounds into balls, then flatten with palm of hand into a flat disk. Use a small round cutter to make a circle on the inside of the cookie and place on the cookie tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough. When the tray is filled, create a thin layer of the crushed peppermint candies in the center of each cookie dough. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Remove from oven and quickly add another small sprinkling of peppermint candy to the center of each cookie. Cool completely and carefully remove from the baking mat or parchment.