Now I think we all know here that I am given to hyperbole, but these cookies, which I made for the first time yesterday, are going to easily make it into the Make Every Year pile. They are stunningly good, if a royal pain in the neck to make. They aren’t for the faint of heart and require many steps, but the payoff is totally worth it.
The recipe itself is from Epicurious, though I adjusted it slightly to reflect what I had picked up at the grocery store and what I had forgotten. They’re supposed to crackle at the top and while mine didn’t do that, I didn’t especially care. So good. Sooooo goooooood.
Here’s the ingredient list:
9.5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (I had 8 bittersweet and threw in 1.5 oz of semisweet chocolate chips, and adjusted the sugar accordingly. And we bought nice Ghiradelli chocolate as it was on sale)
1 stick butter
1/2 c finely destroyed red and white peppermint candies (I used the Magic Bullet we got for the wedding for this and it turned a bunch of starlite mints into dust pretty quickly
just under 6 T of sugar (originally it called for more but by not using any unsweetened chocolate and tossing in semi-sweet instead, I cut back on the sugar to make up for it)
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c chocolate chips
More peppermint dust
Ok, got everything? Now the real work begins.
First, chop up your chocolate into nice chunks. Add it and the butter to a nice big saucepan, and turn heat onto lowish. Stirring constantly, melt the butter and chocolate until smooth. Take off heat and add peppermint bits and sugar, stirring to mix, and stirring occasionally until it cools to lukewarm. The recipe says this will take half an hour, but it took me about 15 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, breaking them up and stirring them in. Then add the extracts, stirring, stirring. Mix your dry ingredients and add, stirring, stirring. It’s not going to seem like regular cookie dough–it’ll have more the consistency of a brownie batter. It has to chill to firm up. They recommend 3-24 hours in the fridge. I have no patience, so I did a half hour or so in the freezer.
Preheat oven to 325. Either put some parchment paper on baking sheets or give them a light greasing. Using a spoon, scoop out dough and shape with your hands into 1″ balls. This might get messy unless the dough is good and cold. Place on sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes until they’ve set but are still soft. Theoretically they should crackle but mine didn’t.
Place dough back in the freezer when you aren’t using it so it stays good and cold.
Remove baked cookies from the oven and, using a spoon, sprinkle them with peppermint dust. After a few minutes you can remove them to a rack.
The initial recipe said you’d get 36; we got about 55, counting the ‘test cookies’ we ate. These are a fair amount of labor, but if you put on some holiday music and roll up your sleeves, they are absolutely worth it. And your house will smell like what I imagine a York Peppermint Patty factory smells like, and that’s a wonderful thing.