Time for part two of Cookies for Santa. I would have done this all in one post, but I ran out of light yesterday for my pics and I didn’t really want to have my last set done with artificial light or a flash. And I was hungry and was seriously considering the plate of cookies to be my dinner.
In case you forgot from yesterday, which I doubt, but the plate is so dang cute I am showing it again full of cookies.
On to the last two cookies that I haven’t posted about yet.
First up, Dark Chocolate Chip Peppermint M&M Cookies.
These are a variation of one of the chocolate chip cookie recipes I make, but this time I used this year’s season M&M candy, white chocolate peppermint. Last year they had made cinnamon and I loved them. I had seen mixed reviews on them but I thought they were awesome, and I was really bummed not to see them this year. The seasonal flavors come in smaller bags than the normal M&Ms so get more than 1. You know, for eating them as well as adding in to the cookies. I actually really liked these ones, more candy cane-ish peppermint than toothpastey peppermint. I have had some peppermint candies before that totally tasted like toothpaste. Ew.
I didn’t chop up the candies since they are, well, hard to chop in half without disintegrating them. They are bigger than the normal M&Ms too. I also added in Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, I like how they are bigger and a little flatter than regular semi-sweet, plus with the M&Ms being on the sweeter side, the addition of the dark made a nice contrast in flavors. All in all a tasty addition to this years plate of cookies.
I do hope that they bring back the cinnamon M&Ms into regular rotation, although I am curious to see what they make next year. There have been some fruiter flavors that I thought were gross, not a fan of artificial fruit flavor, especially not in cookies, so hopefully they make a different spiced one, that would be awesome. If you haven’t tried the peppermint M&M candies try to find some soon, most likely look in the clearance aisles since, even though it isn’t Christmas yet, all the Christmas stuff in stores is on DEEEEEEP discount already and I have seen Valentine’s and Easter stuff up already. Ridiculous.
Last but not least, these are probably my favorite cookie I make at Christmas, White Chocolate Dipped Mocha Shortbread Cookies.
I found this recipe years ago in an email from one of those 12 cookies of Christmas, or a cookie countdown, something, can’t remember where now. The original recipe was OK. It called for way less espresso powder, and was to be dipped in unsweetened chocolate on one side of the edge and white chocolate on the other. No offense to the original recipe creator, but dipped in unsweetened chocolate? Um, no. The cookies also asked for more butter and were sort of greasy. So after a few changes and the discovery of Green and Blacks white chocolate bars with vanilla bean in them, these cookies were developed and are now one of my favorites.
I know I have said a few times now how I am not a fan of white chocolate, yet I have several cookies with it in them. I know, I make no sense. Can you see the little flecks of vanilla bean in the chocolate? This chocolate also stays somewhat thicker when melted which works great for these cookies. My trick is that I freeze the cookies and dip them while they are still frozen, then freeze on wax paper to set the chocolate and keep frozen. The cookie itself is somewhat crumbly so keeping it frozen helps keep too many crumbs from falling off into the melted chocolate.
When I started taking pics of these yesterday I was taking pics of ones that had already been dipped and frozen. But something didn’t look quite right, so I happened to half a dozen that I hadn’t dipped in the chocolate yet and decided to take pics of them freshly dipped. I am glad I did because I am much happier wit how these cookies look in their pictures. My 2 year old kept trying to stand on my chair next to these to swipe a taste of the chocolate. Its so hard to get mad at her when she dipped her finger in some and smeared because as she was licking her finger and walking away she said ” mmmm that was delicious” I just can’t help but laugh.
- 3¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 ½ c Peppermint M&Ms
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line several baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg then add the vanilla and mix until well combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and M&Ms
- Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out about 1 ½ tbsp of dough and place cookies on baking sheet about 2” apart
- Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes, or until edges just start to turn golden brown, do not over bake. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Keep stored in a resealable baggie or airtight container either at room temp for a week or up to 3 months frozen.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup arrowroot starch
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 12-16 ounces of Green And Blacks Vanilla Bean White Chocolate bars (4-5 bars)
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Stir in dry ingredients; mix just until blended, don’t over mix
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into 6 equal portions. Place 2 portions on opposite ends of 1 baking sheet.
- Cover dough portions with plastic wrap; gently press or roll each portion of dough into a 6-7” circle. Lightly score each round with a sharp knife into 8 wedges. Repeat with remaining dough. You can press the remaining dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and chill. Once you are ready to bake those, gently place on the cookie sheets and score into wedges.
- Bake rounds at 325° for 23 minutes or until shortbread feels firm to the touch. Gently score each round again with a sharp knife. Slide parchment very carefully from baking sheets onto wire racks. Let shortbread cool completely on parchment. Cut shortbread into wedges along scored lines.
- Melt chocolate baking bars either in a glass bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals or in a double boiler on the stove on over low heat. Carefully dip the wide end of the cookie wedge in the chocolate at a slight angle on each end of the wide edge (see picture for example), set on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze until set. Store in freezer in airtight container or baggies.
I just realized I should have taken a pic with all the cookies with a bite taken out of each. That would have been cute. Darn it!! Next year…..