Friday, December 7, 2007

Cookie Swap Part 3: Peppermint Cookies

I make these cookies every year at Christmas, and short of gingerbread they have become the quintessential Christmas cookie in my mind. The dough is meant for shaped cookies, and is firm without being too crunchy or too dry. The peppermint pieces inside melt and become slightly chewy bits in the cookies. These are the perfect compliment to a cup of hot cocoa in front of the fireplace.

These have frosting drizzled on top of them, so to transport these I used 4 clear plastic plates per dozen layering a plate face up, 7 cookies, plate face down, plate face up, 5 cookies, plate face down. Then I went around the plates with saran wrap to keep them from shifting. This worked very well and got the cookies there in 1 piece and didn't mess up the frosting on top.

Peppermint Cookies


2 cups butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
7 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
3/8 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes
Extra sugar for tops

1 tub basic cream cheese frosting
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 brick cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla

2 drops red food coloring
2 drops peppermint oil (if you have peppermint extract, use 1/4 tsp)


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cream butter until fluffy.
Combine sugar and cream into butter until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.
Mix flour, salt and baking powder together.
Mix together milk and vanilla extract.
Alternate adding flour and milk to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
At this point the dough is very thick, you may need to finish mixing by hand.
Mix in the crushed candy canes.
Form into 1' balls and place on cookie sheet (these will not spread, but don't put them too close or you can't get them off).
Flatten to about 1/4' thickness with a smooth bottomed glass dipped in sugar (Dip in water the first time to get the sugar to stick to the glass).
Cook in 350 F oven for 12 minutes (edges should be very lightly browned).
Cool on pan for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks.

Open container of cream cheese frosting, or in mixing bowl beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.
Separate frosting into 2 bowls (1/2 each).
Add 2-4 Tbsp water to each and whisk until drizzling consistency.
Add peppermint oil and food coloring to one bowl and whisk until light pink throughout.
Drizzle the white frosting and then the pink frosting over each of the cookies. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to containers.
To keep frosting pretty, put risers and a sturdy layer between each layer of cookies.

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