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chocolate-peppermint sandwiches

January 5, 2011

Annnd there goes another unintended break in posts…my bad! First, there was the holidays. Then, there was the storm. Then, we lost our Internet. And then, this happened:


Yep, I decided to embrace my inner retiree and ask for a quilt-making kit. It’s pretty much taken over my life, and I’m really hoping it doesn’t turn out too ugly.


Anyway, back to Christmas recipes. I stuffed these cookies into boxes with the buckeyes for gifts—after I sampled one, obviously.


They’d won some Christmas cookie contest in Cook’s Country, and I have to admit, I was a little skeptical of them at first. While I essentially worship Cook’s Country/Illustrated I’m a bit less trustful of recipes from real, live people who don’t have the time or inclination to obsessively test recipes.


However, overall, I think these were pretty solid cookies. They were kind of like a chewy, homemade version of those mint Oreos that I can never seem to find anymore. The cookies themselves were nice and soft and chocolatey, and the mint buttercream inside took them just over the top into both the festive and the stuff-your-face-with-them zone.


One note, though: when I tried the buttercream alone before frosting the cookies, I didn’t really think it was minty enough. I probably ended up about doubling the amount of mint extract that the original recipe calls for. However, mint extract is seriously strong stuff, so you might want to taste it before adding any more and then increase the amount by drops, just to be safe. Keep in mind, though, that the buttercream alone will probably taste mintier than it will between cookies, so even if you add a bit too much, you’re probably still in the clear for some eventual yumminess. Oh, and also, I ended up with just barely enough frosting for all the sandwiches, so if you like a lot of buttacream, you should probably 1.5 or so the frosting recipe and all will be right with the world.

Chocolate-Peppermint Sandwiches
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons whole or low-fat milk
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 drops red or green food coloring

Directions:
1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Heat chocolate chips, brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and water in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Transfer mixture to large bowl and beat in egg. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
2. Place 1-tablespoon scoops of dough 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies until puffed and edges are set but centers are slightly soft, 8 to 10 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool 5 minutes on sheets, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
3. Whisk remaining butter, milk, and peppermint extract in medium bowl until combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth. If using food coloring, add and mix until combined.
4. Spread 1 teaspoon filling over bottom of half of cookies, then top with remaining cookies to form sandwiches.

Source: Cook’s Country

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