Triple-chocolate peppermint treats

If I make Christmas cookies to take home to my family celebration, I always bake a batch of peanut butter blossoms. When my sister and I were little, our mom informed us those were Santa’s favorite, so they’ve become a Christmas tradition in the Matas house.

If I make Christmas cookies to take home to my family celebration, I always bake a batch of peanut butter blossoms. When my sister and I were little, our mom informed us those were Santa’s favorite, so they’ve become a Christmas tradition in the Matas house.

This year, Santa’s favorite cookie is getting some competition from these triple-chocolate peppermint treats. The rich, chocolate chip-filled cookie is delicious on its own, and the white chocolate and cream cheese frosting pushes it over the top. I will be making these for Christmas.

I don’t have tons of wisdom for you in terms of making the cookie dough because it’s a pretty standard process. (A note, though—my dough was on the drier, more crumbly side, and it still turned out well.) I found my 60 percent cacao chips at a Giant Eagle. (They were the Ghirardelli brand.) I think if you don’t love the flavor of the bittersweet chocolate, you could use all semisweet chips, especially since the fancier chips only account for half a cup of chocolate.

I left my cookies in the oven for eight minutes. I like things slightly underbaked, and these came out super soft but not raw. If you’ve ever made the chocolate crinkle cookies that are coated in powdered sugar, the texture is similar.

For the frosting, I accidentally used the entire block of cream cheese, not just half of it, but I’m glad I did. These cookies are sweet, and the extra tang from the additional cream cheese was welcome, especially because you melt half a cup of white chocolate chips into the frosting. I just left out the milk, and the thickness was perfect.

Instead of getting the hard peppermint candies for the topping, I picked soft peppermint candies and chopped them up into tiny pieces. I think they taste less overwhelmingly pepperminty for a dessert, and that’s my preference. Plus, the soft candies are easier to work with, and then you’re not stuck crunching on big pieces while you’re trying to enjoy a cookie. Apparently you can buy peppermint dust sprinkles, which I think would be the best option.

This recipe made more than 40 cookies for me, so plan to share. I took mine to a rehearsal, and they got good reviews.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:
Cookies:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips

White chocolate frosting:
1/2 cup white baking chips
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons 2 percent milk
1/3 to 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
7. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes.
8. Cool 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
9. For frosting, melt white baking chips in microwave; stir until smooth.
10. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
11. Beat in melted chips.
12. Add enough milk to reach desired consistency.
13. Frost cookies; sprinkle with peppermint candies.

SOURCE: Taste of Home

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass