We’d need fewer New Year’s resolutions in January if there were fewer Christmas cookies in December. My solution: work this one into the year-round menu as a stand-alone treat and not just part of the pile on the holiday cookie plate. Then reserve your resolutions for the practical and attainable – like giving up egg nog.
These cookies take some work. You may want to bake one day, fill the next. Freeze the ones you don’t finish. They are surprisingly good eaten out of the freezer after everyone else has gone to bed. (My version of a stand-alone treat).
Chocolate-Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
For the cookies:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 Tblsp unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
3 Tblsp brewed coffee, cold
½ tsp vanilla extract
Ultrafine sugar for rolling
For the filling:
1/3 cup marshmallow creme
3 Tblsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
½ tsp peppermint extract
Red food coloring
For the glaze:
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tblsp shortening
20 red and white peppermint candies, crushed
For the cookies: Pre-heat ove to 350 degrees. Stir flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl until no lumps remain; set aside. Cream 6 Tblsp butter and granulated sugar in another bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add coffee and vanilla, beat to incorporate, then blend in the flour mixture just until dough forms. Shape dough into generous 1-inch balls using a cookie scoop or tablespoon. Coat balls in sugar (ultrafine if possible) and arrange on prepared baking sheets, (parchment paper or silpat), spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten the balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in the sugar. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until cookies spring back when touched lightly. Let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack.
For the filling: Blend marshmallow creme and 3 Tblsp butter for the filling in a bowl with a mixer. Add powdered sugar, mint peppermint extract, and food coloring; beat until smooth. Spread 2 tsp filling on the bottom side of half the cookies; top each with a second cookie.
For the glaze: Heat cream for the glaze in a saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbles form at the edge. Pour the cream over the chocolate and shortening; let stand 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let glaze stand until thickened, about 5 more minutes, then dip a portion of each sandwich cookie into the glaze. Roll the glazed portion of cookies in crushed mints and place on a cooling rack. Chill until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.
(Leftover glaze may be chilled, then reheated and served over ice cream.)
Freeze unfilled cookies for up to 1 month.
Okay to double recipes for cookies and filling; do not double glaze.
Crush peppermints in a ziploc using a meat mallet or use a food processor on pulse, leaving peppermints coarsely-crushed.
Makes 10 sandwich cookies
CREDIT: I found this recipe in the holiday cookies edition of Cuisine At Home Magazine (www.cuisineathome.com) a few years ago. The cookies take some work. You may want to bake one day and fill the next. Freeze the ones you don’t finish. They are surprisingly good eaten right out of the freezer after everyone else has gone to bed. My version of a stand-alone treat.