Saturday, December 18, 2010

Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies

My friends Denise and Kellie hosted a Cookie Swap this week. I didn't think I would be able to make it (finals!), but then how could I miss it? Cookies! Friends! Fun! promised the invitation. I rearranged my schedule and called my favorite babysitters (mom and pop) and looked for a knock-your-socks-off cookie recipe. You'd think I'd have one by now, but I wanted a brand new knock-your-socks off cookie recipe. I spotted this brand new cookie recipe in the December Bon Appetit. You know how I feel about chocolate and peppermint at Christmas time, but still, it had to be extra special. I checked the Internet to see what any other cooks had to say about Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies-four forks and rave reviews all the way around. Can I add my forks to the pile? Yum! This is my new favorite Christmas cookie. Sorry Santa, I doubt you're getting any. Take a look: The cookie base is like a rich crackly brownie with chunks of chocolate. It's topped with more melted chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes.
And this is what you end up with. Candy Canes and Chocolate. A Christmas match made in heaven. Like Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Holly and Ivy. Scrooge and Jacob Marley. Frosty and um....Mrs. Frosty. Rudolph and Clarice. Grinch and Max.
I might have eaten all the cookies myself, but then I remembered the Cookie Swap! I packed these little treasures up in a tissue paper lined box and headed over to the Cookie Swap at Denise's gorgeous house.

Denise and Kelly made the whole party so pretty. Look at all these adorable decorations!
All of the beautiful cookies and recipe cards were arranged on the counter top for sampling.

It was hard not to be greedy since the cookies were amazing, but then I remembered that I was going to be taking some home so I settled down. A little. The cookies were second only to the conversation. Remind me to take a break and talk to friends more often. I think I'd like to do this once a week. Or once a day. Or maybe twice a day. Or maybe I should just move in. Denise? Kellie? Could you clean out the spare bedroom?

Look at all the cookies I came home with!

Kellie's butter cookies: The butter flavor is so luxurious!

Lainie's M and M cookies. I know these guys. They're like old friends that you never see enough of.

I'm not sure if these whoopie pies came from Jen or Robyn but all I know is I didn't get one bite. West ate all three of them in less than 24 hours. Please don't call social services. Once in a while he eats something that grew in the ground.

Nancy and Lexie brought these white chocolate coated ginger cookies. They pack a whopping ginger punch and I couldn't get enough of them. I might have to make some tonight.

Denise made these darling little coconut-marshmallow-chocolate balls. It was almost like a bumpy, rich little truffle. You'll love them.
And these? You recognize these, don't you?

I raced home after the party and then the babysitters and charges had another party with the cookies. Within 48 hours, I didn't have a single cookie left. But I've got the recipes and you can bet you'll be seeing them right here.
Money Saving Tips: But chocolate chips on sale throughout December. These cookies are a good use for already broken candy canes.
Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies
$5.00 for 50 small cookies
2 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (do not exceed 61% cacao; 15 to 16 ounces), divided
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 large eggs
4 candy canes or 16 red-and-white- striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed Read

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir 2 cups chocolate chips in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Measure 2/3 cup melted chocolate; transfer to small metal bowl and reserve for drizzling.
Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Add sugar and both extracts; beat until smooth. Add eggs; beat to blend. Beat in melted chocolate from medium bowl. Add dry ingredients; beat just to blend. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Measure 1 level tablespoonful dough; roll dough between palms to form ball. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until cracked all over and tester inserted into center comes out with large moist crumbs attached, 8 to 9 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment paper to racks to cool completely.
Rewarm reserved 2/3 cup chocolate over small saucepan of simmering water. Using fork, drizzle chocolate over cookies. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over, arranging some pieces with red parts showing. Chill just until chocolate sets, about 20 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 weeks ahead. Store airtight in freezer. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Up Next: Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Frosting and Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Marshmallow Filling


Melissa (The Sword in the Scone) said...

I love cookie swaps and your chocolate peppermint cookies look great.

Adrienne said...

They sound yummy! Yours look like the best ones on the plate, but those whoopie pies would certainly tempt me too. I would make these today but all I have on hand are the ingredients for your awesome buttermilk chocolate cookies. Are these ones better? Moister?

Prudy said...

Adrienne: I didn't get to try the whoopie pies, so I can't answer for those. As for the chocolate buttermilk compared to the peppermint crunch...ooh, not sure. Not sure at all. Must have both post haste!

Tightwad Mom said...

Love, love, LOVE cookie swaps! Sugar laden calories and fabulous conversation, all in one location! Your cookies turned out beautifully!

Tracy said...

That looks like a great cookie swap! I love to go to them for the company, but so often I'm disappointed by the cookies I get. Your chocolate peppermint cookies are on my to-try list for sure!

The Japanese Redneck said...

okay, bringing home some of your own cookies must be a testiment to their goodness....

Anonymous said...

Do you use the espresso powder or do you substute it with something else?

Prudy said...

I just left it out without subbing in something else. Good luck!

Applesauce Inn Bed & Breakfast said...

What yummy cookies! Can't wait to try the peppermint crunch cookies!

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Lainee said...

Such a fun time! Your cookies were beautiful and yummy! Can't wait till next year! :)

Anonymous said...

They sound yummy! Yours look like the best ones on the plate, but those whoopie pies would certainly tempt me too. I would make these today but all I have on hand are the ingredients for your awesome buttermilk chocolate cookies. Are these ones better? Moister? cheap nike jerseys