Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

A few weeks ago, I stopped at Panera for the first time and I tried one of their Mint Crinkle cookies.  Mmmm, chocolate with a hint of mint!  This seemed like it would be a great addition to my cookie recipes so I decided to try to make one of my own.  This recipe is my attempt at a smaller version of the cookie.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

  • 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli's semi-sweet baking bar)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (I use Trader Joe's Organic)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Peppermint extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1 cup Cocoa powder - now I have to go off on a tangent and say, that, in my own unpaid opinion, Penzey's Natural High Fat Cocoa is the best I have ever found.  Dagoba's Organic Baking Cacao isn't bad either, but really... Penzey's rocks!  Okay, tangent over.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
You will also need a double boiler (or a bowl to put over simmering water in a pot) and all the other usual baking supplies.

Do not turn oven on yet.
Combine chopped chocolate and butter in double boiler and stir until melted.  Add peppermint extract and stir to combine.  Set aside.
In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar.  Mix on medium-low until thoroughly combined. 

Add in chocolate/butter/peppermint and mix until just combined.

Add half of flour/cocoa mixture until just combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour/cocoa.
Add in chocolate chips and combine.  Let sit for a few minutes while oven heats.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare baking sheets with either parchment paper or Silpats.
The dough should be a bit firm.  Make 1 inch round balls and place about 2-3 inches apart on cookie sheet.
For slightly chewy cookies, bake for 14 minutes, turning cookie sheets at halfway.
For crunchier cookies, bake for 16 minutes, turning cookie sheets at halfway.
Let cool on cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  This also gives the cookie sheet a chance to cool before the next batch.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Happy Baking!