Minty Chocolate Christmas Cookies

Minty Chocolate Christmas Cookies Recipe


I suspect many of you are on the prowl for Christmas cookie recipes. I have to admit, I've been quite excited about attempting to put my own personal twist on a few cookie classics this year. After quite a bit of tinkering in my kitchen, I have a few different cookie recipes to share with you over the next two weeks - you'll have to let me know what you think. This first cookie combines thin chocolate wafers with a thick, creamy peppermint filling. I was imagining something along the lines of a homemade, peppermint, Oreo-type sandwich cookie. I stamped them into cute, tiny, bite-sized shapes - so they wouldn't be too overwhelming.

Many of you will recognize the chocolate wafer cookies - they are very similar to the ones I use in the Thin Mint Cookies in Super Natural Cooking, so if you've made those, you know the drill. I rolled the dough extra thin here, so the cookies wouldn't be taller than they were wide. A few non-holiday versions of this cookie that came to mind while making these...how about a sweet peanut butter filling in place of the peppermint - then giving the cookie a dunk in melted chocolate for a coating. Sweet pistachio butter might be delicious as well. Or some sort of banana or coconut filling, or banana & coconut :) Again, the possibilities are endless.

Christmas Cookie Recipe

A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who played a role in nominating 101 Cookbooks for the Foodblog of the Year award. I encourage you to browse the other nominees listed on that page - I'm fortunate to be in such good company. You can also have fun exploring the wonderful and talented nominees across the other categories here - they've been organized into a single clickable list. Again, thank you - it is nice to be nominated, a great way to wrap up 2007.

 
 
 
 

Minty Chocolate Christmas Cookie Recipe

I use Dagoba cacao powder for these cookies, but that's a personal preference. I also seek out organic powdered sugar, which isn't as bright white as typical powdered sugar, but once you beat a bunch of air into it, it brightens right up (see photos). This recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour, but you can use unbleached all-purpose flour if you like.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup nonalkalized cocoa powder
1 egg white
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

Peppermint cream filling:

2+ cups powdered sugar, sifted
10 - 15 drops peppermint extract (to taste)
1/4 cup half and half (or water if you are going to keep the cookies around unrefrigerated for a while)

Pre-heat the oven to 350F degrees, position the racks in the middle of the oven, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and cream some more, scraping the sides of the bowl a time or two. Stir in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, egg white, and salt and mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter is smooth and creamy and the consistency of a thick frosting. Add the flour and mix just until the batter is no longer dusty looking. It might still be a bit crumbly, and that's okay.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, gather it into a ball, and knead it just once or twice to bring it together into a smooth mass. Divide into two pieces place each into a plastic bag and flatten into disks roughly 1 inch thick. Put the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.

One bag at a time remove the dough from the freezer. On a well floured surface roll it out very thin (remember these are going to be sandwich cookies) - roughly 1/8 inch thick. Or you might find it easiest to roll it out between to Silpats or pieces of plastic. Stamp out cookies in whatever shape you like - I used tiny scalloped circles here. Place on the prepared baking sheets, and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until they small of deep warm chocolate with toasty overtones. Larger cookies will take longer to cook than smaller ones. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack (if you have one).

While the cookies are baking, go ahead and make the filling. Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, whisk together the sugar and half and half until nice and fluffy. You want the filling to be thick enough that it doesn't ooze out the sides of the cookies after they are filled, so if you need to add more powdered sugar, do so in small increments. If you need to thin out your filling, add more half and half a few drops at a time. Whisk in the peppermint extract a bit at a time, and taste as you go, the peppermint flavor shouldn't be overwhelming. When the cookies have completely cooled slather a bit of filling on half of the cookies. Top each slather with another cookie and enjoy!

Makes about 3 dozen 1 1/2-inch sandwich cookies.

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Your Comments


sugarlaws
December 11, 2007

congratulations heidi! (you have my vote!) these cookies look amazing -- i'm not sure what i like better, the pictures of this version or all your suggestions for variations! yum!

 

Shell
December 11, 2007

Hi Heidi,

I just wanted to comment to let you know how much I love your take on recipes. Your ideas are always so fresh and just a little bit left of centre which I think is fantastic.

Your honey ice cream recipe is to die for, it is one of our family favourites.

Yours Sincerely,

Shell (Australia).

 

Susan
December 11, 2007

Love the look of these cookies - I'm probably already making enough stuff for the Christmas party this weekend, but this gives me a great chance that, if I make these, I can use up the leftover melted chocolate I have from chocolates I've been making, by dipping them...should be awesome :D

 

Quyen
December 11, 2007

Thanks for the cookies you left outside our door - they were super cute and YUMMY. I didn't want to leave any for Adam!

 

Mary
December 11, 2007

These look delicious! I've been on a big peppermint kick lately and have been thinking maybe I should branch out more, but these look so wonderful I may have to try them!

Is there any advantage to using peppermint oil instead of peppermint extract? (I usually have extract on hand.)

 

Jesper
December 12, 2007

Good idea, Heidi. Xmas and peppermint, that is. Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming with cinnamon, all spice and the like. At least in Scandinavia. You have my vote too, by the way.

 

emma
December 12, 2007

hey these look fabulous.... for a cook from New Zealand, could you explain what half and half is? thanks!

 

Kim
December 12, 2007

Funny you should post this ... I just boxed up Thin Mints cutout as tiny trees with a swirl of white chocolate for my annual cookie exchange at work. Love your new take on these wonderful cookies!

 

julie
December 12, 2007

Any idea what would happen if I subed out gluten free flour mix for the flour you have listed? I have to eat and bake gluten free and wow these cookies look good! Thank you, Julie

 

Katie
December 12, 2007

I am on the prowl for Christmas cookie recipes - I need to make some for a cookie party I'm attending this weekend. These look perfect.

 

Sophie L
December 12, 2007

Heidi, now you make me regret that I've baked all my Christmas cookies already... I guess I'll save the recipe for next year
Congratulations on the award, and also I saw your chocolate espresso cookies in the Washington Post food section this morning. It was great to read about you in an East coast paper!

 

Christy
December 12, 2007

These look absolutely amazing. I may make them tonight, rather than writing a paper ; )
(Incidentally, for the New Zealander, half-and-half is a combination of cream and milk.)

 

Diane
December 12, 2007

"slather a bit of filling on half of the cookies"

How can you go wrong with a recipe that includes the word 'slather' :)

 

TravisBrooks
December 12, 2007

Thanks Heidi for a great take on christmas cookies...I hope the other cookie recipes come out soon so I can add them to my table with these!

 

Josephene Kealey
December 12, 2007

I've been reading this cooking website for the last few months, and I laugh -- warmly -- each time I read the comments. Most comments are about how lovely the recipes *look*!

A question from an amateur baker: I assume half and half means cream?

 

Holly
December 12, 2007

Hi, Heidi - these, like all of your recipes, look gorgeous and so inviting! I'd like to make these, but wonder how long they might keep. I assume you'd have to refrigerate them b/c of the cream filling....storage suggestions? Thanks!

 

Peggy
December 12, 2007

Love your blog and have savoured many of your recipes. Today I made the delicious espresso caramels, but they are stuck to the wax paper--any ideas what I might have done wrong? The little I have scraped off the paper is scrumptious!

 

Heidi
December 12, 2007

Holly, I used the half and half because that is what I had on hand and wanted a full mouthfeel. You could substitute water if you like, if you are planning on keeping them around longer.

Mary, I'm going to update the recipe to call for extract instead of peppermint oil (that is actually what I grabbed out of my cupboard)...you could use either, but because the extract is so much more readily available I'll update it here. I actually like to use the oil in conjunction with melted chocolate, it doesn't cause as many problems with seizing as the extract does.

Julie, I'm not sure re: the gluten-free question. I suspect it would take some experimenting to get it right.

-h

 

Heidi
December 12, 2007

Peggy, in regards to the espresso caramels - that's a simple mistake. It is important to use parchment paper (different from waxed paper) to prevent sticking. -h

 

Tana
December 12, 2007

Those look splendid...like Girl Scout Thin Mints without the transfats.

Congratulations on your continued and much-deserved success.

 

Michelle L
December 12, 2007

The cookies look fantastic! I will try the peanut butter filling for my first try. Dipping them in chocolate...WOW!
Thanks for making my xmas cookie baskets better than ever! Can't wait for the other recipes!

 

JEP
December 12, 2007

My vote for you has been counted! Lots of filling possiblities....think I will also start with mint or peanut butter.

 

Vanessa
December 13, 2007

Trader Joe's has a version of these called Candy Cane Joe-Joe's, although I'm sure homemade will be even better!

 

Michelle
December 13, 2007

Any ideas for using less sugar or a natural sweetener substitute?

 

The Secret Ingredient
December 13, 2007

Were you inspired by the Trader Joe's "Candy-Cane Joe-Joe" cookies? They have the same idea---sort of an oreo with a minty filling, studded with little pieces of candy canes. I normally don't love store-bought cookies---but these are KICK-A&%. Might be a good twist for your recipe----broken candy cane pieces. YUM! I'm a chocolate-mint FANATIC! Thanks for that awesome recipe....

 

Hillary
December 13, 2007

I think mint and chocolate are a match made in heaven! And in this case, they seem to put the people who eat them in heaven!

 

Graeme
December 13, 2007

Really cool little things, Heidi. Nice work.

I suspect you're right on the mad search for festive cookies. I wonder what's most popular? Gingerbread?

 

Erin
December 13, 2007

Hi Heidi,

I use your recipes (mostly the pictures and ingredient ratios) as inspirations for my own creations. Thanks for all the posts! You do deserve the award--it's the only food blog I read.

Could you address the difference between pastry and regular flour in a recipe like this? I'd love to use whole wheat but don't have the pastry version--how would it affect the outcome?

 

Erin
December 13, 2007

Michelle,

I studied nutrition and learned in one such class that you can reduce the sugar in *most* recipes by one third without adverse outcomes. By trial and error, I've discovered that for the most part, it's true. (Taste as you go.)

 

jeena
December 13, 2007

Hi there I think this blog is amazing! Great recipes and pictures, these cookies look so delicious too! :)

 

Amy
December 13, 2007

Those cookies look phenominal. I can't tell you how much I LOVE your blog! You always have the best recipes :)

 

Erika
December 14, 2007

So, I attempted to make these last night and it didn't work out. When I started rolling out the dough it crumbled... I finally worked it smooth enough to go out but then it wouldn't come up without a fight from my work surface so any shape I'd attemped to cut was totally distorted.

I'd like to try it again if someone could tell me how to fix whatever it is I did wrong...? Did I need more flour or something?

 

Judy
December 14, 2007

Awesome looking cookies! I love the variations you added also!
Peace and ....
Merry Christmas

 

karen
December 14, 2007

hey Heidi, these look super delicious... if I have time I will make these for the party tomorrow! regardless I am determined to get to them before december 25 this year.

 

marie
December 14, 2007

its very nice recipe, it is very very useful recipe for to this time,
i am going to make for this x-mas
thank q &

HAPPY X-mas & NEW YEAR -2008