Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies

With my remaining Andes Peppermint Baking Chips, I made a version of this recipe from Food Network's Sunny Anderson. These cookies turned out slightly crispy and had just the right mix of peppermint and chocolate.

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup peppermint baking chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Cream together the margarine and sugars until well combined.
Add the egg and blend until combined.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually stir in the flour mixture to the butter mixture. 
Fold in the chocolate chips and peppermint chips. 
Spoon tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until golden.
Yields 2 dozen

Monday, December 23, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread

Christmas is almost here! This is an easy and delicious way to reward yourself for all of your hard work this year (or perfect for a last-minute party or guest). As an added bonus, your entire kitchen will smell like peppermint!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/3 cup Andes peppermint baking bits

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 1 (9-inch) glass pie plate with cooking spray.
In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in flour and cocoa. Stir in peppermint baking bits. Press dough evenly in pie plate.
Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until edges just begin to pull away from sides of pie plate. Cool in pie plate for 5 minutes. Cut into 16 wedges.
Yields 16 servings.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mint Chocolate Brown Sugar Bars

I had such a great result with these Chewy Toffee Bars from Food Network's Jamie Deen earlier this fall that I wanted to make a mint version for the holidays. They come together so quickly, so they're perfect for this time of year.

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter 
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
Pinch salt 
2 large eggs 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1 cup mint chocolate chips 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the racks to the center of the oven. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. 
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the brown sugar until melted together. Let cool for 5 minutes. 
While the mixture is cooling, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. 
Stir in the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla extract into the cooled sugar and butter mixture. Add the dry ingredients into the saucepan until combined. Fold in the mint chocolate chips. 
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing into squares. 
Yields 16 servings

Monday, December 16, 2013

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

This recipe is great for the holidays. Not only is it a festive traditional treat, but I think they taste better the day after you bake them! If you want flatter cookies, press down the dough on the cookie sheet before baking.

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine flour and baking powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Gradually add the flour mixture. Stir in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Yields 2 dozen

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mint Truffle Cookie Butter Cookies

For some reason the chocolate and mint combination always tastes best at this time of year. It was so hard to stop at three of these cookies! The chocolate mint really shines and is complimented by the flavorful cookie butter dough. Cookie butter is delicious on its own, but it's worth saving a half cup for this recipe!

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup cookie butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
36 unwrapped Hershey Mint Truffle Kisses

Preheat oven to 350°.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
Mix the butter and cookie butter until smooth. Add in sugars. Then stir in the egg.
Gradually add in the flour mixture. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets. Slight press one mint truffle Kiss into each cookie.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
Let sit on cookie sheet to cool for 5 minutes. Then move to cooling rack to cool completely.
Yields 3 Dozen

Monday, December 9, 2013

Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I made a few modifications to this recipe on Epicurious. I didn't use as much salt, so these cookies were more like regular chocolate chip instead of salty chocolate chip. It didn't matter, though. They were delicious! I enjoyed them soft and warm out of the oven, but they were even better slightly crispy the next day (perfect make-ahead cookie!). I was really intrigued by the powdered sugar included in the ingredients list and think it made the cookies a little softer and sweeter.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar 
1/4 cup powdered sugar 
2 large egg yolks 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
Sea salt

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 375°F. Whisk flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add egg yolks, egg, and vanilla. Beat, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until mixture is pale and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; slowly add dry ingredients, mixing just to blend. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate.
Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing 1" apart. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt.
Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until just golden brown around the edges, 10-12 minutes (the cookies will firm up as they cool). Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks; let cool completely.
Yields 3 dozen

Thursday, December 5, 2013

White Chocolate Mint Chocolate Cookies

I can never make it through the holidays without several mint chocolate or peppermint chocolate treats! Here is one to kick off the season. It is not overly minty, and the mint with white chocolate combination balances nicely.
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mint chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In large bowl, cream together brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla and egg. Gradually mix in cocoa powder, flour, and baking soda. Stir in mint chips and white chocolate chips.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto cookies sheets.
Bake 11 to 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown slightly. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Yields 2 dozen

Monday, December 2, 2013

Top 10 Cookie Finds 2013

Happy Cyber Monday! I hope you all had a great turkey day. Here are my top cookie finds of 2013 that are sure to be a hit with everyone on your gift list. If you need more inspiration, check out my Top Cookie Finds from 2011 and 2012.

Specialty's Cookie Mix- Perfect for the baker in your life- several varieties to choose from
Baking Betty's- I wish I discovered them earlier. Giant cookies with so many great flavors.
Tate's Bakeshop- They're pros when it comes to gift boxes. Your gift is sure to impress!
Miss Lilly's Trading Company- Not only do they have mouthwatering cookies, but a portion of proceeds go to Meals on Wheels.
'lette macarons- Beautiful packaging- try one of every flavor!
Miette- Their graham crackers are amazing.
SusieCakes- In-store pick up and local delivery are available. Whoopie pies are the best!
Christopher Garren's- Delicious treats (and lovely cakes, too!)
Joan's on Third- Be sure to get the mini chocolate chip cookies! They have beautiful gift baskets available for in-store pick up and local delivery.
Thickys- The presentation of these deliciously sweet bars isn't the best, so take that into consideration when purchasing.