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Be prepared to SWOON over these cookies! So delicious!
If you haven't noticed, I've been on a bit of a sweet kick lately. A few nights ago I felt a strong urge to make these peppermint chocolate cookies when I got home from work. I saw the recipe in Rachael Ray's EveryDay magazine and fell intensely in love. And that was before I bit into them.
Then. I bit into them..
The gates of heaven opened up, music began to play, I danced in perfect circles, until...I needed another bite. This went on for the first three cookies, when I realized that I needed to stop. I had to dig deep within myself to find every ounce of self-control. I could have eaten both pans. All 24 cookies. I'm not kidding.
(adapted from: Rachael Ray's EveryDay magazine)
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together on low speed:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened
Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk; seal. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with approximately 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, use your fingers to evenly encase each of 24 miniature peppermint patties (unwrapped and chilled) with the dough.
Place on the prepared pans and smooth the dough with your fingers, if needed.
Bake until just firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer the cookies on the parchment to a rack to cool completely.
In a small bowl, microwave 6 ounces of white chocolate chips on high in 30-second bursts until it is creamy and completely smooth when stirred.
Using a large spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the cookies. Let cool completely before serving or storing.
Be prepared to get a glimpse of heaven upon biting into these cookies. Just wait, you will see what I mean!
There are a few little secrets that make baked goods tastier. One of them is this flavored sugar.
There are a few little secrets that make baked goods tastier. One of them is using flavored sugars. I had a bunch of pepperminty things on my "to bake" list, so I thought I would experiment with peppermint sugar. It turned out great! That is saying a lot coming from a girl who isn't the world's hugest peppermint fan. For one of those recipe ideas check out my Old-Fashioned Gumdrops. A little taste of childhood in just one bite!
Pour a cup of white granulated sugar into a food processor. Add 2-3 candy canes that have been broken into small pieces.
Process until fine if you want to use the sugar as a substitute in a recipe. Don't process quite as long if you plan to use it as a coarse sugar for a topping on cupcakes or a cake.
If the final product is too pepperminty, mix more white sugar in with it. I ended up adding an additional 1/2 cup of white sugar and thought it was deliciously perfect!
Perfectly pepperminty. Just the right amount. Not too little, not too much!
I am not always a fan of minty things because in most cases I find the flavor too overpowering. I have always been a fan of a simple Chocolate Layer Cake. However, every once in a while I will eat a perfectly minted something or other and let out an uncontrollable MMMmmmmm. These cupcakes? Perfectly pepperminty. Just the right amount. Not too little, not too much.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
In a large bowl, beat 1/4 cup of shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
I always see faces in my mixing bowls. Does anyone else see a smiley, blonde-haired little girl who just got hit in the face with a snowball? Poor thing.
Beat until combined, occasionally scraping the side of the bowl.
Add 2 egg yolks, one at a time.
Beat well after each addition.
Alternately add the flour mixture and 2/3 cup cold water to the shortening mixture.
Beat on low speed after each addition until just combined.
Thoroughly wash beaters. In a small bowl, beat two egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (the tips will curl).
Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips will stand straight).
Fold beaten egg whites into chocolate batter.
Do this in small batches.
Gently fold in 1/3 cup of miniature semisweet chocolate chips.
Divide among prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool. Remove from pan.
While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare a batch of Peppermint Buttercream Frosting.
Then put 6 or so candy canes into a ziploc bag.
Crush the candies.
Cut the cupcakes in half horizontally and spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting onto the bottom of each cupcake. Replace cupcake tops, pressing gently to spread frosting to the edges.
Place crushed candies on a sheet of waxed paper and roll the sides of the cupcakes in the candies to coat the exposed frosting. Pipe or spread the remaining frosting onto tops of cupcakes. Sprinkle with additional crushed candies.
And you will have perfectly pepperminty, chocolatey cupcakes that will make you squeal with delight.