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Friday, December 16, 2011

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

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There are times that you need a cookie the size of your face (like when you’re in New York City and you stop in at Levain Bakery), and then there are times when you need a bite-sized cookie. Bite-sized cookies are ideal around this time of year when every place you go—the office, the neighbor’s house, the dentist’s office (okay, maybe not the dentist’s office!), seems to have a Christmas cookie that’s yours for the taking. These double chocolate peppermint cookies ensure that you can enjoy the cookie AND whatever else is on the cookie tray. Or, you know, enjoy that mini cookie and then five more, since six mini cookies equal one regular-sized cookies.

Or, if you’re good, enjoy that one cookie and call it good. Definitely not my choice, but perhaps some of you have more self-control than I do!

Small in size but big in flavor, these cookies are soft and chewy, with an intense chocolaty flavor thanks to both melted chocolate chips and cocoa powder in the batter. Topped with a chocolate ganache and crushed candy cane pieces, these are almost too cute to eat (I said almost. You won’t be able to resist them once you try them!).

A full batch of the recipe makes six dozen cookies, meaning you can share these with, quite literally, all of your friends!
One Year Ago: Cinnamon Pretzels (so easy and so addictive! wrap up little bags of them and give to all your friends!)
Two Years Ago: Tortilla Black Bean Pie (this begs to be re-photographed but continues to be one of my favorite Mexican meals!)

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
from Women's Day Magazine December 2011

-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp kosher salt
-2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (I used semisweet)
-1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-6 tbsp heavy cream
-8 candy canes, smashed (approximately 3/4 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
2. Melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave in a glass bowl. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate and the flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Stir 3/4 cup chocolate chips into the batter.
3. Drop rounded teaspoons (these are small cookies!) onto the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating the position of the pans halfway through, until cookies are puffed and set (8-10 minutes). Allow cookies to cool on sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, heat heavy cream until simmering (about 30 seconds). Add the remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips to the cream and allow it to sit for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Using a spoon, top each cookie with a bit of chocolate and crushed candy canes. Refrigerate cookies until set (about 20 minutes).
*Cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two weeks