Monday, December 17, 2012

Candy Cane Sandwich Cookies

**It was one busy weekend in my kitchen!  Between trying to finish the last installment of my Dad's Cookie club and pull together Christmas cookies, it was a whirlwind!  
These cookies are sure to be this year's standout! **

One of my cooking baking philosophies is that food should be "real"

I think you should be able to recite an ingredient list without an advanced degree in bio-chemistry, in less than 45 seconds and without a stomach-ache at the end. 

I try to stick to foods that are homemade and contain five or less ingredients but, I will grudgingly admit that, it doesn't always happen.

These cookies are hands down better than other creme filled sandwich cookie you could find on a store shelf.  And you can recite the ingredients (and directions!) in less than five minutes!

Homemade Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
(slightly adapted from Food Network)
(makes 3 dozen sandwiches)

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate 4squares)
2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted PLUS
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
4 ounces sweet butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 eggs 

Microwave chocolate in 30 second intervals until smooth and melted (this took approx: 90 seconds)
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
In mixing bowl, cream the butter,  vanilla and sugar, and beat to mix well. Add the melted chocolate, and beat until incorporated. Then add the  milk and the egg, and beat to mix well. On low speed add the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula, and beating only until incorporated.
Place the dough on a piece of wax paper, fold the sides of the paper over the dough, and press down on the paper to flatten the dough to a 1" thickness.
Wrap in the waxed paper and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes (no longer or the dough will crack when you roll it out). (However, if you do refrigerate it for longer (even overnight) let it stand at room temperature for about 1 hour before rolling it out.)
Preheat oven to 400. Halve the dough (this will make it easier!)
Line cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper. 
With a floured rolling pin (which should be refloured frequently to avoid sticking), roll the dough out until it is only 1/8" thick (thin). Use a cookie cutter the cookies as close to each other as possible.
Place the cookies 1/2" apart on the baking sheet. 
Leftover pieces of the dough should be pressed together and rerolled.

Bake for 7-8 minutes, until the cookies feel almost firm to the touch. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before assembling
Peppermint Butter Cream Frosting
1 stick butter
3 ¾ cup powder sugar
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1-2 tablespoon milk

In a large bowl with electric mixer at low speed, combine sugar, butter, milk and peppermint. Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frostIng is spreading consistency.

Candy Cane Garnish
4-6 crushed candy canes

After cookies have cooled, spread a small amount of frosting on each half of cookie.  Press cookie halves together and lightly roll the edges in the crushes candycane.  Serve with an ice cold glass of milk (or hot cup of coffee).  And hope at least one gets saved for Santa!!!!


These peppermint blossom cookies are another favorite of mine.  Jessica has the recipe but my only suggestion is to freeze the kiss, put it in the center of the cookie as soon as you take it out of the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for two minutes before transferring to cooling rack)

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