It suddenly feels like finding a spare moment to do anything, much less post to this blog, is not to be had. Certainly not take pictures in daylight, as these photos can attest. In light of that, this will be short, but sweet. Very sweet, rich, chocolatey and full of minty goodness. Smooth and slightly airy with some lift from eggs.
Ironically I thought I would be sharing those Mocha Truffle cookies I told you about, but I took them to a party before I had a chance to snap any pictures, and I make them way too often to justify writing about them without pictures.
These Chocolate Chip & Peppermint Crunch Crackles are a fabulous holiday cookie (Epicurious thinks so too–I found them on their 25 Best Holiday Cookies list). They are extremely rich but somehow silky rather than chewy, without being underdone and raw tasting. My only complaint/thing I would change next time is that I would only sprinkle the finished cookies with powdered sugar; I would not bother with the crushed candy canes. As festive as it looks, it was a big pain to press into the baked cookie, and so on a whim I tried rolling the dough balls in candy cane and then baking–an even bigger mistake. The best cookies by far were the ones that just had a simple sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar. However, to compensate, I threw a handful of the Andes Peppermint baking chips (the red/white ones) into the dough, and that was very tasty.
8 oz semi or bitter sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup finely crushed red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies
6 1/2 T sugar
3 large eggs
2 t vanilla extract
1 t peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup (about 3 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup Andes peppermint baking chips
Coarsely crushed peppermints (optional–I would leave off)
Combine first 3 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolates melt and mixture is smooth. Remove pan from heat. Mix in finely crushed mints and 6 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Cool mixture to lukewarm, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Whisk eggs into the chocolate mixture, 1 at a time, then whisk in vanilla extract and peppermint extract. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl to blend. Whisk flour mixture in to the chocolate mixture. Fold the chocolate chips and Andes baking chips into chocolate mixture. Cover batter and chill until firm enough to shape, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 325 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using 1 generous tablespoonful for each cookie, roll dough between moistened palms into 1 1/4-inch-diameter balls, then arrange on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and cracked on top but still soft to touch in center, about 11 minutes. Let stand on sheets 5 minutes. Press coarsely crushed mints onto tops of cookies or sprinkle with powdered sugar. Transfer to racks; cool completely.