Monday, January 2, 2017

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies by Tom

Recently we were watching " The Great American Baking Show" and one of the contestants was making a chocolate cake flavored with peppermint.  I thought this sounded pretty good and guessed I would be able to find many recipes that used both ingredients in order to make cookies.  I was right! 

But the one I found, and ultimately modified, started off as a gluten-free recipe from Heartbeet Kitchen.  The pictures made their cookies look really good. 

What I am offering today is a modification of the Heartbeet Kitchen gluten-free chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies.  If you want to use the gluten-free recipe, just substitute teff flour for wheat flour.

The finished product was very fudgy and full of peppermint flavor.  This was exactly what I was aiming for.


Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Makes approx. 40 cookies

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 1/2 ounces dark chocolate
2 large eggs
1 egg white
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dark, Dutch processed cocoa powder
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (I actually think the recipe would benefit from increasing the amount of flour.  More discussion below.)
1 tablespoon corn starch
pinch of salt
1 drop peppermint oil, or 1 1/4 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
powdered confectioners sugar for rolling the cookie dough balls in

Over low heat, melt the butter and dark chocolate in a small sauce pan.  It is very important to constantly stir the entire time.  Once the chocolate is just melted, remove from the heat and set aside for at least 3 minutes to cool.

In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs, egg white and sugar until light colored and frothy with little bubbles sneaking out of the top.  I found it easiest to do this in our stand mixer with the wire whisk attachment.

Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture and continue whisking to incorporate.

Add the cocoa powder and stir.  Next add the flour in two additions.  Then the corn starch, salt and peppermint.  Whisking the whole time until there are no more streaks of flour visible.

Cover the bowl with a cloth and freeze for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

(Baker's note:  Before freezing, the batter will be very loose.  In fact, I think too loose requiring more flour.  Although I did not add more flour this time and the cookies turned out just fine, the cookie batter was extremely hard to work with even after being in the freezer for 20 minutes.  The next time I make these I will add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour to stiffen the batter a bit more.)

When the cookie batter is done in the freezer, use a cookie scoop or teaspoon to make tablespoon sized balls.  Drop the balls in the confectioners sugar and roll around until completely covered.  Place on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and lightly press down to slightly flatten the cookies.

Bake for 11 minutes and take out from the oven.  Cool initially on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack.

The only difficult part of this recipe was actually handling the cookie dough.  It was extremely sticky, and that made it hard to actually roll a ball.  The warmer the dough became, the stickier it got.  So it was important to keep the unused dough in the freezer while a cookie sheet was baking.

But even with this handicap, the cookies tasted great.  I will definitely make these cookies again.


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