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

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.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • Those look splendid...like Girl Scout Thin Mints without the transfats. Congratulations on your continued and much-deserved success.

    Tana
  • 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

    Heidi
  • 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
  • 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!

    Peggy
  • 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!

    Holly
  • 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?

    Josephene Kealey
  • 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!

    TravisBrooks
  • "slather a bit of filling on half of the cookies" How can you go wrong with a recipe that includes the word 'slather' :)

    Diane
  • 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.)

    Christy
  • 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!

    Sophie L
  • 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.

    Katie
  • 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

    julie
  • 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!

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

    emma
  • 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.

    Jesper
  • 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.)

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

    Quyen
  • 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

    Susan
  • 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).

    Shell
  • 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!

    sugarlaws
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