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There is nothing quite so enticing as the aroma of crushed peppermint at Christmastime.  That is, unless, it is combined with dark chocolate and then baked into cookie perfection.  As I write this, the strong, deep notes of "Christmastime is Here" are dancing from the kitchen and I am basking in the glow of the Christmas tree, waiting for my husband and a couple of good friends to come spend the evening. I'm feeling sentimental; perhaps it's the fact that I spent the week with a bunch of fourth and fifth graders who are pained with the anticipation of Santa, or because the living room is filled with a slight evergreen smell mixed with freshly baked, gooey cookies that reminds me of a time when I was that age myself.  

It's raining outside, which isn't quite right, but now that it's dark I can almost make myself imagine there's a winter wonderland on the other side of the window. 
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I think that there are few things so satisfying as pulling a batch of cookies out of the oven and eating them all soft and melty and underneath the glowing, glittering tree.  Especially when they are these Peppermint Paradise cookies.  I had a sweet friend (this one's for you, Susu!) request that I share a recipe using peppermint of some sort - peppermint stick, peppermint extract; she said she didn't care as long as it was peppermint.  There are a million peppermint recipes to be had this time of year, but I wanted to share my favorite minty go-to.  The first time I made these cookies was with my friend Alyssa and we were home for break after our first semester of college.  Around eight at night, we were hit with a sudden and insatiable desire for chocolate chip cookies (anyone else ever been there?) and ran to the store and picked up all the ingredients and whipped up a batch, only to be utterly amazed with what we had created.  
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"These are the best cookies I have ever eaten," I remember moaning, simultaneously swallowing and shoving another into my mouth. 

The peppermint is the real rockstar, here.  It creates an exciting and refreshing twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie.  But the cookie itself is a gooey rendition of the original, with plenty of chocolate and buttery brown sugar baked together. They are chewy with a crisp crunch on the bottom. 

The recipe has traveled with me since then, getting tweaked and uh, tripled, along the way. They are delightful. 

The raw dough is pretty good, too....
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Now I'm waiting with quiet anticipation for everyone to get here and save me from eating the whole batch.   On this Friday evening, a week before Christmas, I am filled with the thought that we couldn't be more blessed to have our tiny apartment filled with good cheer and yummy smells. 

I equate good food with happiness, and there is hardly anything that makes me happier than to share comforting food with people I love.  My prayer for all of you this season is that you may be filled with the kind of happiness that comes from enjoying a warm cookie with a really good friend.

I also pray that you may be filled with the joy of knowing Jesus loves you oh-so-much.


Oh and by the way - never let anyone tell you a cookie is just a cookie.  Especially a Peppermint Paradise.

Love well, eat well, and be merry,
Deidre
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Peppermint Paradise Cookies
Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 12 candy canes, finely crushed
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugars, and vanilla and beat just until smooth.  You can do this by hand or using a stand mixer.
  3. Beat the eggs in one at a time until they are completely mixed, then add the flour mixture, chocolate chips, and candy canes and stir until just mixed. 
  4. Chill dough for 1-2 hours.
  5. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Form cookies by scooping dough out with a tablespoon and rolling into balls.  Keep the cookies small and spread apart, as they spread out while cooking.
  6. Cook on a cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown but the centers are still quite soft.
  7. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 20 minutes, then remove and let cool on a cooling rack as long as you can wait to eat one!

Adapted from Culinary Concoctions

 


Comments

Susu herself!
12/19/2015 4:58pm

Besides wanting to thank you for the shoutout, I wanted to say how much I loved the sentiment in this post.

Reply
12/29/2015 12:20pm

Susu! So glad you enjoyed it - I miss you!

Reply
Jumping with Joy
12/20/2015 7:13am

These cookies have me soooo excited and filled with joy. The plan for today was to bake Christmas goodies and wrap presents. I have added these cookies to today's menu! Though I have eat gluten and dairy free.... So a few changes will be necessary. Thanks for this post, your recipes really are fantastic.

Reply
12/29/2015 12:21pm

Thank you, Jumping with Joy! :) How did they turn out without gluten and dairy? I have many friends who are in the same boat as you, I'm sure they would appreciate your modifications!

Reply
Jumping with Joy
01/03/2016 4:04pm

For the gluten free/dairy free version, the dough was great but a few more modifications would need to be made before sharing the recipe. The cookies didn't bake to the texture I would have wanted, though they got better after having cooled and sat for a while. If I make them again with better results I will certainly share. =)

01/16/2016 4:04pm

Jumping with Joy - thanks for being willing to share! Be on the lookout for my vegan version of chicken pot pie this weekend!

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