cuckoo for cocoa (and peppermint!)

Once the temperature drops and the twinkle lights are out, it’s hard to resist the urge to bake dozens and dozens and dozens of cookies for the holidays. You really can’t go wrong with any cookie recipe for the holidays, but the combination of cocoa and peppermint is absolutely irresistible – and always pairs well with a mug of hot chocolate by the fireplace! Dutch-process cocoa powder gives these easy-to-make fudgy cookies a rich dark color and a deep chocolate taste. To infuse the white chocolate icing with peppermint flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract with the oil. Store these cookies between sheets of waxed or parchment paper to keep them looking their best. For a different but still festive twist during the winter holidays, replace the peppermint candies with crushed peppermint bark.

Peppermint Candy Cookies

1 1⁄4 cups (6 1 ⁄2 oz/200 g) all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup (6 oz/185 g) sugar
3⁄4 cup (2 1⁄4 oz/65 g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
3⁄4 cup (6 oz/185 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 cups (12 oz/375 g) white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons canola oil
15–20 peppermint candies, crushed (about 1 ⁄2 cup/85 g)
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using a handheld whisk, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter, and beat on low speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the egg, egg yolk, and peppermint extract. Raise the speed to medium and beat until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch, 8–10 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the icing: Place the white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the oil until smooth.

Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip each cookie halfway into the melted white chocolate, then immediately sprinkle peppermint candies over the white chocolate. Place on the prepared baking sheet. If the white chocolate begins to harden, set the bowl over simmering water for up to 1 minute to remelt. Let the cookies set up for 15 minutes before serving.



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