Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I recently saw a recipe on a friend's Facebook page for Dark Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies and I could not wait to try them out. I planned to make them while hunkered down during a snowstorm, but then I realized I did not have some very key ingredients at home (such as the M&Ms!), so I convinced my husband to take me out to get the stuff I needed before the snow got too bad. The trade-off was that he got to choose the store and instead of going to the large and very popular grocery store in town he chose a smaller specialty shop. Of course they didn't have the ingredients I needed either, so since I liked the concept of a chocolate mint cookie I grabbed some mint chocolate chips and called it a day. 

I made a lot of adjustments based on what I did have on hand, including omitting the M&Ms and the dark chocolate powder. Of course that means the name had to change, but for the sake of this post I am using the original recipe as guidance and just deleting/substituting what I did have. I am also keeping the original directions but changing it where necessary. Thanks to My Baking Addiction for a great base for me to start from! Be sure to check out her site for the original recipe 

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

YIELD: 3 dozen
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 
TOTAL TIME: 

INGREDIENTS:


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 oz milk chocolate chips
8 oz (2 sticks, 1 cup) unsalted butter, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup Nestlé Toll House Winter Mint and Chocolate Morsels
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Crushed candy canes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Use a whisk to stir, evenly distributing the dry ingredients and aerating the flour at the same time. Set aside.
3. In a large measuring cup, melt together 4 oz (1 stick or 1/2 cup) butter and chocolate in the microwave, heating 30 seconds at a time. After 30 seconds, stir the butter and chocolate together, then heat again. Stir after each increment until butter and chocolate combine easily. Do not overcook. Set aside to slightly cool.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, mix the remaining 4 oz of butter together with granulated sugar, scraping the bowl often. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium speed after each addition. Continue to scrape the sides of the bowl often.
5. Add vanilla to the mixture and mix on medium speed again until the wet ingredients are well combined. Leave the mixer on low speed and slowly add in the chocolate-butter mixture. Add it slowly so as not to accidentally 'cook' the eggs with the warm chocolate.
6. When chocolate has been completely incorporated, begin to add the dry ingredients in increments, mixing on low speed after each addition.
7. When a cohesive chocolate dough has formed, be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to get any remaining flour and mix again, then remove from the stand mixer if using one.
8. Add both the mint and white chocolate chips to the dough, mixing them through by hand.
9. Use a medium sized cookie scoop to distribute 6-8 dough balls per baking sheet.
10. Bake each tray for 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle tops with crushed candy canes (this is optional. I used a fine candy cane dust that i got by running the candy through the Magic Bullet). Press each cookie with the flat back of a spatula to flatten, then allow to cool.
11. Cool the cookies on the baking tray for a moment, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Here are the Winter morsels. Very tasty!


And the finished cookies:

I think this will be added to my "Tried and True" collection for next year!