Perpetual Plan B

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Cookies

Since I was really sick around Christmastime and the thought of looking at photos of food, much less eating any was not a good thing, I never did get around to posting this. (Notice I was good and avoided any offensive references to "tossing my cookies".)

Every year the girls and I (but mostly me) bake one of our favorite Christmas cookies, which my sister-in-law Kim (married to my brother Todd, not to be confused with my other sister-in-law Kim, who is married to my brother Kendall) brought one year to our family Christmas party. Kim is a fabulous baker so we know anything she brings will be wonderful and these little babies really are.

(For some reason, they still don't look all that appetizing here. Just know, they taste better than this photo depicts. Maybe the plate is too busy, I'm not sure. I guess any hopes I had of ever becoming a food stylist are pretty much shot because these really are pretty cookies and I've already managed to make them look bad.)

Here is the recipe for anyone who is interested (of course with my own non-professional, corner cutting tweaks). They are a little bit of work, but so worth it!

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. melted margarine
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
5 c. powdered sugar
3-4 drops red food coloring (or more)

1/2 c. crushed peppermint candy canes or hard peppermint candies (about 4 ounces)

For cookies:
Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs. Add dry ingredients and beat until blended. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (I use 2 pieces of parchment and 3 cookie sheets and rotate the hot pans.) Scoop out dough by level tablespoons. (A 1 1/4" diameter scoop makes about 75 cookies.) Place on baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Using bottom of glass or hand, flatten each ball to 2 inches round (edges will crack). Bake 10 minutes, or until cookies no longer look wet and small indentation appears when tops of cookies are lightly touched with fingers, (do not overbake or cookies will become too crisp). Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer chocolate cookies to racks and cool completely.

For frosting:
Combine melted margarine, milk, vanilla and peppermint extract. Beat in powdered sugar. Add food coloring to make desired pink shade.

Spread each cookie with frosting. Sprinkle with candy pieces while frosting is still moist. Enjoy!

These also make really festive looking sandwich cookies. (I make 1 and 1/2 times the dough, same amount of frosting.) Spread frosting generously over the flat side of one cookie. Top with another cookie, flat side down, pressing gently. Roll edges of cookie sandwiches in crushed candies.

(Once again, not a great shot of the cookies. Sorry.)

These freeze pretty well. I always keep a few extra in the freezer just for me!


The Gathering Place said...

Those look delicious! I love minty things.

Katie said...

I think I ate the entire plate that you gave us . . . they are so, so yummy!! Definitely a new favorite of mine! Thanks for posting the recipe!

Small House said...

YUM!!! AND...sorry you were sick over the holidays. DARN IT.

I'll definitely give these cookies a try!