Yes, partly because the holidays are approaching but mostly because I can justify spending hours in the kitchen baking dozens of cookies. It's part of the holiday season and I embrace this aspect wholeheartedly.
Unlike the rushed flurry of mid-week cooking of quick muffins or soups throughout the year, I let myself dive into recipes to make cookies with temperamental dough that require careful decorating. My little kitchen produces an abundance of cookies during this holiday period and I am never sure how we eat manage to eat all the cookies.
But somehow, we always do!
As I've mentioned before on this blog, I strongly believe that it is important to begin new food traditions for my family and holiday cookies are no exception. I've been searching for a cookie to add to my holiday repertoire that can fit the bill.
Today, I found that cookie. Please meet the White Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Peppermint cookie.
Your world will never be the same. No, really. These cookies taste that good and they look just as lovely as they taste.
As an avid consumer of chocolate peppermint bark, I was overjoyed to find a cookie version. Baking these cookies are not for the faint of heart. They aren't complicated to make but rather require multiple steps that involve refrigerating or freezing the dough in between steps.
Isn't there something lovely about rolling out dough over and over until it measures the 1/8 inch you need it to be?
Or taking the time to melt TWO POUNDS of white chocolate slowly and stir it fastidiously to make sure it didn't scald?
Or using your meat tenderizer mallet to pulverize the candy canes you need for the topping? Oh wait. That was my toddler who enjoyed being the Candy Cane Crusher today.
But fear not, Christmas Cookie Bakers! The end result is so worth it. These are truly a labor of love and you will not only love eating these but you will love giving the cookies as gifts.
Please do yourself a favor in the rush of the holiday season. Slow down for an afternoon and luxuriate in the little things: melting chocolate slowly and rolling and re-rolling cookie dough.
White Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Peppermint CookiesYield: 6 dozen
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
8 large candy canes or 30 peppermint candies, crushed
2 pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute.Reduce speed to medium-low, and add egg, then yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in peppermint extract. Slowly add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated. Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days).
*Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out circles, and place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Roll and cut scraps once. Freeze cookies until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining disk.
*Bake until cookies are dry to the touch, about 12 minutes. Transfer parchment, with cookies, to wire racks, and let cool. (Undecorated cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.)
*Sift crushed candy, and separate larger pieces from dust, reserving both. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Remove from heat. Dunk cookies into melted chocolate. Using a fork, turn to coat, let excess drip off, and gently scrape bottom against edge of bowl. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of either candy pieces or dust on top. Repeat, sprinkling half the cookies with pieces and the rest with dust. Refrigerate until set, up to 3 hours. Decorated cookies are best served the same day.
Recipe from Martha Stewart