For the second year in a row, I participated in THE BEST COOKIE SWAP EVER: The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Last year I made Maple Waffle Cookies for the swap. This year, I decided to go minty and chocolaty.
I’m pretty much obsessed with peppermint. When peppermint ice cream starts popping up in stores I go crazy. It’s so good! And I’ll even bend my no-sugar, no-flavorings-in-coffee rule for peppermint mochas. Chocolate, coffee, peppermint...seriously, put that in my stocking this year!
I had seen peppermint mocha cookies before, but usually in drop-cookie form, with pieces of crushed candy cane mixed in the dough. I wanted to make something new, so I decided to do slice and bake cookies (icebox cookies), and then dip them in chocolate and coat that in crushed candy canes.
Sidenote #1: crushed candy canes are the most beautiful thing ever. It’s like sparkly white and pink glitter snow.
Sidenote #2: crushing candy canes kind of sucks. I put them in a big freezer sized ziplock, then wrapped that in a hand towel, then beat it with a hammer. Then, because I’m crazy and wanted perfect tiny little speckles, I sifted out the big chunks. #imcrazy
I love icebox cookies because they’re so easy. You can make the dough, then roll it in logs (which, unfortunately, resemble a friendly little Christmas cartoon named Hanky), and then freeze. Then you can fully clean your kitchen, listen to some holiday tunes, watch Home Alone, drink some hot buttered rum, get a good night’s sleep, and wake up the next day, bright eyed and ready to slice and bake!
Also, thanks to the espresso powder, these cookies are super chocolaty. Like, majorly so. Like tiny little cookie shaped brownies. You’ll die ten times. Then you’ll add that cool pepperminty crunch of the crushed candy canes, and you’ll die a few more times. Probably 15 times in all.
Peppermint Mocha Icebox Cookies
Very loosely adapted from this recipe
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup quality unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
8-10 candy canes, crushed
Whisk flour, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer, beat sugar, vanilla, and egg on high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Add butter and continue to beat on high speed until smooth, about 3 more minutes. Using your fingers, work flour mixture into butter mixture until dough is just combined. It will be sticky and a little difficult to work with, but it's all worth it!
Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 9" log. Wrap each log in parchment paper, twisting ends tightly to make a uniform longs. Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap dough and slice each log into rounds about 1/3 inch thick. Place rounds 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Bake until cookies are slightly puffy, about 8-9 minutes. Let sit on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a rack to cool. Be careful, they're really soft at first.
Let cookies cool completely. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or over a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Dip each cookie half-way in the chocolate (I tried to dip only on the top), and then dip in crushed candy canes. Set on wax paper to harden. Let cool completely.
Looking for more recipes from the cookie swap? Check out the blogs of my random matches: the bloggers I sent these bad boys to, as well as the bloggers who sent cookies to me!