Friday, December 26, 2008

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

We made these for our Christmas plates. The good and bad of remaining home for Christmas instead of driving out of state to visit family is that you can procrastinate until the 23rd to make cookies and deliver them to friends. These cookies were really easy but they have such a cute appearance that a plate of these looks like you spent a lot of preparation time. One note about this recipe is that even before refrigerating the dough it is incredibly stiff! Dan came home while I was baking these and thought the cookies were burning but he was smelling the exhausted motor of my hand mixer.
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Pioneer Woman's Recipe (and photo)

2 sticks (1 cup) regular (salted) butter, slightly softened
1 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 squares almond bark or white baking chocolate (almond bark works best and is cheaper)
Large handful of red or green peppermints
Cream softened butter with powdered sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix together until dough comes together. Place plastic wrap on surface of dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Unwrap candies and place them in plastic bags. Beat with a mallet until finely crushed, leaving larger chunks if desired.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll cookie dough in walnut-sized pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Gently press balls flat with a plain, smooth surface. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, being careful not to burn. Cookies will remain the same general size and shape after they bake.
Remove from oven and place cookies on a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely.
Place crushed candies in bowl. Melt almond bark and begin to dip cooled cookies, coating only half the cookie. Immediately sprinkle crushed peppermints over both sides of the almond bark. Gently set on parchment paper or other nonstick surface and allow to cool before serving.

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