Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies

This blog is like carb city lately!!  We are still eating regular food, but I'm really only trying new Christmas treat recipes lately, not "real food" recipes.  We've been having our standby's of homemade mac and cheese, tomato soup, broccoli-cheese soup, etc., so we can have quick and easy meals during this busy holiday time! 

I had fun making these cute, tiny Christmas cookies with my kids last week.  We gave some to teachers, and ate the rest.  :)  These cookies really are tiny- I used my smallest cookie scoop (it holds 1 Tablespoon) and I cut each dough ball in half to make one cookie (then I rolled it in a ball).  These cookies are very tasty by themselves, but the peppermint frosting sandwiching them together makes them even better.  I tried to roll them in crushed candycanes, but it's so humid here that my candy cane pieces all stuck together minutes after crushing, so we just used sprinkles. 

These cookies were easy to make and delicious.  I'd like to make these again sometime when we hand out Christmas plates.  We did that the first two years we lived here, but didn't get a chance to do it last year (and definitely not this year, lol).  Actually, I have quite a list (in my head, lol) of stuff I'd like to make for next time we do that.

I found this tip from Our Best Bites (where I got the recipe from) helpful.  Actually, you may want to head over there for more tips and photos:  The dough is really soft. Do not do not do not add more flour. If it’s too soft to work with, just let it sit for a few minutes to set up more (as the butter and chocolate comes to temperature it firms a bit) or even pop it in the fridge for a few. But you’ll probably find like I did that you just need to be gentle and you can drop the dough onto your cookie sheet just fine.
Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
from Our Best Bites

1 1/2 cups flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons real butter
1 tablespoon water
1 large egg lightly beaten

1/2 cup real butter (1 stick)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
milk, as needed for consistency
optional: red or green food coloring and sprinkles or crushed candycanes

1.  To make cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Heat chocolate chips, brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted and smooth (there will still be grains of sugar). Transfer mixture to a large bowl and beat in egg. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Don’t overmix.

2.  If dough is too soft to work with, let it sit at room temp for a few minutes to firm up, or place in the fridge for a few minutes. Gently roll balls, either 1 tablespoon full for large cookies, or about 1/2 inch balls for silver dollar sized cookies. (I used 1/2 Tablespoon).  Place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies until just puffed in teh middle and edges are set but centers are still soft. About 8-9 minutes for large cookies, and about 5 minutes for small ones.  Cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

3.  To make frosting/filling, beat all frosting ingredients together, adding peppermint extract to taste. Add milk by the teaspoonful until a spreadable, but not too soft consistency is reached.   Add food coloring if desired.   Place frosting in a zip-top bag and cut off a corner.   Pipe onto one side of cookie and place another on top. Roll edges in sprinkles or crushed candycanes if desired.

Yield: If you use a tablespoon of dough, it will yield 1 1/2 dozen large sandwiches. If you use a quarter of a standard cookie scoop (about a rounded teaspoon) it will yield 4-5 dozen.
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