These chocolatey-mint cookies are perfect for your holiday cookie swap. They are bursting with flavor from rich cocoa powder, as well as mint flavoring (a perfect pair!) But if you're not a fan of peppermint flavoring, just leave it out and use vanilla instead. I decorated them by piping white chocolate, but there are a number of ways you can easily decorate these--including dipping in chocolate and covering with crushed candy canes.
Chocolate cookies are the perfect cookie for decorating, because the white chocolate or royal icing provides an excellent contrast and lets the cookie really shine. You get tons of color contrast without having to flood the cookie with royal icing. And let's be real--royal icing doesn't taste that good! It's pure sugar! White chocolate on the other hand.. it's delicious! Just be careful. Chocolate solidifies at room temperature, so when you're decorating with white chocolate, you've gotta move fast! It's also trickier to work with than royal icing--it's harder to have as much control as you pipe. But, it's still doable. And one trick I have is to toss the white chocolate-decorated cookies in the freezer for a few minutes to encourage and quicken the chocolate to harden.
Of course, decorating with white chocolate works best at Christmastime when it's drier and cooler. These cookies are pretty easy to make. Just mix, roll, cut and decorate! Here's to a happy holiday season to everyone!
Chocolate Mint Cookies
325 grams all purpose flour
25 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
125 g granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven at 350F. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. On medium-low speed, add peppermint, vanilla, and the egg and mix until combined. Gradually add flour mixture to dough and continue to mix until just combined. Remove from bowl and divide into two parts.
Roll each part out between wax paper until 1/4 - 1/6 inch thick. Place into a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove one at a time, and cut out cookies using a cookie cutter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes. Re-roll the scraps as needed. Continue until all of the dough has been cut into shapes.
Place the cookie sheet with the chilled cookie cut outs in a 350F oven for 9-10 minutes. With chocolate cookies, it can be tricky to tell when they're done. Use your eyes and your nose. The aroma of chocolatey mint should be wafting through the house. The cookies should appear dry. If they are dark around the edges, make note that they were cooked too long and cook the next batch for a shorter period of time.
Let cool on the pan for a couple of minutes. Then, carefully slide the parchment paper onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. These are thin, delicate shortbread cookies. So, be careful when handling. But boy, are they tasty! They are now ready to be decorated. Whether you choose edible glitter spray, royal icing or melted chocolate, have fun with it!