Sunday, December 11, 2011

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies

Thanks for visiting! You may have found this post through Pinterest, the Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap, or Metro Edmonton... yay! Please stay a while and check out some of my other cookies, like the Lemon Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal cookies or -if marshmallows are more your schtick- there are Chocolate Stout Marshmallows topped with crushed pretzels, among other treats and treasures. Enjoy!

When word spread about a cookie exchange for food bloggers, I paused... could I pull this off? Could I be creative and produce a cookie that would make a food blogger also pause? I've so enjoyed making sweets and treats for my friends and family that I wasn't even sure why I was concerned! I gave my head a shake, surfed on over to the sign-up page, and signed myself up!

Let me say... I am so glad that I did that! Thoughts of the cookie that I would create took over my thoughts. I scribbled ideas onto scrap paper and post-it notes. I made several trips to the craft stores to find appropriate packaging. I eagerly made and mailed my little care packages, then waited in very eager anticipation for the arrival of cookies in my mailbox and my cookies in the mailboxes of my fellow bloggers. 

This whole exchange really put me into the holiday spirit but also challenged me to come up with a creative and new cookie to share... it kick-started the rest of my Christmas baking and introduced me to a community of bloggers that I found so inspiring... A big thanks again to Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil (and her Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Malted Milk Chocolate Buttercream) and Julie of the Little Kitchen (and her New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie). I can't wait for the next Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap.

1/2 cup butter
200g dark chocolate
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (or you could go with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract, if you have... I recently added a bottle to my pantry, so just had to use it here!)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ideally, you've been prepping for the holiday and decided to set yourself up with the Peppermint Marshmallows. If not, now is the time to do that, as this wonderfully minty marshmallows is crucial to the success of this cookie as a "peppermint hot chocolate." Put the marshmallows into the freezer.

For the cookie batter, you first need to melt the butter and chocolate. You could be one of those "proper" bakers (with all respect!) and melt both down in a double boiler. Or, you could go the slightly lazy / quick route, as I did, and put the butter in a pyrex dish for 30 seconds in the microwave. Melted. Then break your chocolate into pieces and add to the melted butter. In 30 second intervals followed by stirring, you can expedite the whole melted chocolate-butter situation.

One warning: Don't think that you can skip the 30seconds-stir routine and opt for 1 to 2 to 3 minutes straight. You will most certainly burn your chocolate and find yourself having to start again from scratch.

Set the chocolate-butter mix aside to cool slightly while you carry on. First, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Then, in a separate bowl (or in the bowl for your stand mixer), mix your eggs, sugars and vanilla. Whip this into a frenzy. Once combined, slowly pour your slightly cooled chocolate mixture and whip. This will add air to the batter, leaving it lovely and frothy. It should increase in volume.

Next fold your flour mixture into the chocolate mix. It is a very dense, heavy batter. Cover the batter with plastic wrap, then set in the fridge to chill.

Heat your oven to 325 F.

Now to making the cookie! Take your frozen marshmallow and your chilled cookie batter. Using about two tablespoons of dough (maybe a bit less), wrap the chocolate cookie dough around the frozen marshmallow. Shape into a ball. Try to seal any cracks of the dough so that the marshmallow is completely covered. As your hand warms the dough slightly, you will find it is much like working with play-dough... except it tastes MUCH better!

Set your cookie balls on a parchment covered baking sheet. You can flatten them ever so slightly or just leave them as balls. Your call. As both the dough and marshmallow are cool, they will not spread much during the baking process. I'd recommend a test bake of two cookies (one as a ball and one slightly flattened) to see what you prefer.

Bake for ~8 minutes, then remove tray to the top of the stove and leave cookies on the hot tray for another 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. The cookies will flatten slightly after being removed from the oven. (I love that some cookies cracked and show that hint of peppermint marshmallow while others remain incognito!)

These cookies are best enjoyed warm, with that slightly oozy peppermint marshmallow surprise waiting for you. So, gobble them up quickly or send them off into the world (or just to your cookie jar) with directions to warm gently in the oven or for 5-7 seconds in the microwave.

I sent my cookies off to wonderful food bloggers across Canada...
Aimee's Oven and her lovely photos of the Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookie!
The Vanilla Beanery and her post here!

And I had the very good fortune to receive...
Ginger Cardamom Cookies from The Yum Yum Factor
Chunks of ginger, fragrant cardamom, sanding sugar sparkling.
Recipe and post here.

Chocolate Gingerbread from Alyssa's Kitchen
Bright spices, subtle chocolate, lovely chewiness.
Recipe and post here.

Pecan Maple Syrup Biscotti from My Cookbook Addiction
Hints of maple, wonderful nuttiness, crisp and perfectly crumbly.
Recipe and post here.


And if you're a food blogger and are interested in being involved in next year's swap, keep up to date with all event info by signing up to this list...

4 thought(s):

A Canadian Foodie said...

What a wonderful and truly FUN!!! idea - love the look of your cookie. Love the idea - and clearly would be best served warm - which would be easy to do with frozen prepped balls out of the freezer when guests arrive.

wannafoodie said...

Thanks, Valerie! They really are spectacular. You could definitely opt for the freezer-to-oven tactic or even fridge-to-oven. Either way, it should impress! btw. I've been lavishing in your Italy photos. I need another trip soon!

A Canadian Foodie said...

My daughter made these and LOVED them - I still have to do it - where does the time go???
Happy Happy 2012~
:) V

wannafoodie said...

That is awesome! I soooo appreciate the feedback. The time has certainly flown for me... and seems to continue to race on by. Ah well, there are a great many worse things in the world. Happy 2012!

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