I spent several hours last month debating my recipe choices for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap (remember our Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Shortbread Squares from last year?) I have so many swap recipe favorites, but the trick is that you have to use a recipe you’ve never made before to send to your partners!
Without thinking of the swap at all, I asked a coworker what her favorite holiday treats from home were and she mentioned a tasty type of cookie: soft chocolate cookie dough surrounding a minty peppermint patty. WELL. SOLD. I scoured the internet to find a recipe that looked right for my needs and got to work.
To make these cookies just right for my taste, I made two main modifications. First, I added a bit of peppermint extract to the cookie dough to add some more minty flavor. Since peppermint patty candies are pretty sweet, I then decreased the amount of sugar in the dough. One more thing- it’s not necessarily a recipe change, but I elected to use dark chocolate cocoa. I prefer this product because it’s easy to find in most grocery stores and (since it’s a blend) it performs very similarly to dutch process cocoa.
The result is a cake-y, soft cookie with just enough sugar and loads of holiday flavor. (No lie- I’ve already made another 2 batches!)
The wrapping process is a bit tricky if you’ve never done it before. There’s this perfect sweet spot between cool hands, chilled dough and an under-heated apartment, but it’s basically impossible to create consistently and I was never able to get it quite right. I found that these tips really helped:
* Unwrap all the peppermint patty candies before starting!
* Wash/thoroughly rinse your hands after each batch of about six cookies. Having too much leftover dough residue on my hands started a sticky downward spiral.
* If your dough feels like it’s getting really sticky and warm, don’t be scared to toss it in the freezer for 1-2 minutes. Bonus: since I left the dough in my stainless steel mixer bowl, it stored up some of the cold and kept the dough even cooler!
As the recipe indicates, start with about a 1 inch round ball of dough. Flatten the dough quickly into the palm of your hand. Don’t make it perfect- if you work the dough too much in this stage, the heat of your hand really makes things slippery.
Set the peppermint patty candy right in the middle of the flattened dough. Lift the dough circle off the palm of our hand and use your fingertips to envelop the peppermint patty. Fingertips are cooler so you’ll have more time to smoosh the dough together- just make sure there is no candy showing and it’s all wrapped up!
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 30 peppermint patties
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a mixer, cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add both the vanilla and peppermint extracts. Add eggs one at a time until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients slowly in batches until just combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To assemble each cookie, pinch off a one inch sized ball of dough. Roll dough into a ball and then flatten into a round. Set a peppermint patty into the center of the round and use your fingertips to wrap the edges of the dough round over the patty, enveloping it completely.
- Set each cookie onto the baking sheet with about 2 inches between.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are set. Remove from oven and let set on the baking sheet for three to five minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack while still on the parchment paper and let cool completely.
Once I’d made my first three batches, it was off to the post office!
I sent these tasty little cookies to Terri of Love and Confections, Beth of Beth’s Food Plate Special, and Cindy of Cindy’s Recipes & Writings– hope you ladies loved them! I received three delicious cookie bundles of my own: Stir & Strain‘s Rum Balls, Chocolate-Dipped Orange Spritz Cookies from Destination Delish, and Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies from Baking Bandit! (Sorry for the lack of photo on your package, Stacy- we ate them way too fast and I missed my chance!!)
Thanks, of course, to our hosts Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen who work extra hard to make this a super swap and a great experience. And another special thank you to the sponsors: oxo, Dixie Crystals, California Olive Ranch, and Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle!