Sunday, December 15, 2013

What to do with broken candy canes? Make cookies, of course!

'Tis the season for candy canes, but what do you do with the broken ones? One solution is to make cookies. For years, I have made candy cane cookies that are sprinkled with crushed candy canes. Our family loves them, but they are quite time consuming, and I needed something a little quicker to make. Besides, I was in the mood for chocolate. So, I went to Pinterest, typed in chocolate peppermint cookies, and found a great recipe. Now, don't get me wrong... I do not think that every recipe that I find on Pinterest is wonderful. By now, I can tell by looking at the ingredients whether or not it will be a recipe worth trying. This one sounded good, so I gave it a try... yummy! I used dark chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks and I did add my extra secret ingredient, corn starch, but other than that, followed the recipe as printed. Hint: I have found that you can add a small amount of corn starch (about 2 tsp.) to any cookie dough that has about the same consistency as chocolate chip, and it will keep your cookies from going as flat as pancakes. (At least at our high altitude) Give these a try if you like the taste of chocolate and peppermint... a nice holiday treat! 


DOUBLE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT COOKIES
 Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup candy cane pieces
Instructions
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.    Beat butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and peppermint until light and fluffy.
3.    In a large bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, corn starch, and salt.
4.    Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture until well combined.
5.    Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.
6.    Use cookie scoop to drop cookies onto parchment lined baking sheet.
7.    Press candy cane pieces on top.
8.    Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Be sure not to over bake.
9.    Cool slightly then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Here's the recipe for our traditional candy cane cookies...

PEPPERMINT CANDY CANE COOKIES

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 egg
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, peppermint extract and egg.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.  Divide dough into halves.  Add 1/2 teaspoon red flood color to 1 half.  Chill.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  For each candy cane, shape 1 teaspoon dough from each half into 4-inch rope by rolling back and forth on floured surface.  Place 1 red and 1 white rope side by side; press together lightly and twist.  Place on ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheet; curve top of cookie down to form handle of cane.  Bake as directed.  Mix 2 tablespoons finely crushed peppermint candy and 2 tablespoons sugar.  Immediately sprinkle over baked cookies.  Makes about 4 1/2 doz.

Candy cane cookies amidst other yummy sweets in Christmas goodie tray.
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