Welcome back to the second installment of our Virtual Cookie Swap! These recipes all look delicious; many thanks to our fantastic contributors. Happy baking!
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
8 large candy canes or 30 peppermint candies, crushed
2 pounds white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add egg, then yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in peppermint extract. Slowly add flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated. Shape dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days). Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out circles, and place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Roll and cut scraps once. Freeze cookies until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining disk. Bake until cookies are dry to the touch, about 12 minutes. Transfer parchment, with cookies, to wire racks, and let cool. (Undecorated cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.) Sift crushed candy, and separate larger pieces from dust, reserving both. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water. Remove from heat. Dunk cookies into melted chocolate. Using a fork, turn to coat, let excess drip off, and gently scrape bottom against edge of bowl. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of either candy pieces or dust on top. Repeat, sprinkling half the cookies with pieces and the rest with dust. Refrigerate until set, up to 3 hours. Decorated cookies are best served the same day.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
from Gypsy Mama’s Journey
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
about 7 dozen Hershey’s Kisses (or chocolate macaroons)
Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate candy in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
from Luna at The Moon on a Stick
1 1/2 lbs plain flour (6 cups)
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I prefer this measurement of cinnamon and ginger but for more gingery gingerbread you can put in more ginger and less cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeg and ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom (I grind the cardamom and the cloves myself in a pestle and mortar and I use fresh grated nutmeg, a few grates rather than measuring with a teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
4 oz butter (1/2 cup)
8 oz soft brown sugar (1 cup)
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons black treacle
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
juice and zested rind of one orange and one lemon (my recipe says a little juice, but as I don’t know what that means I put the lot in, if the dough is still too wet to handle just add a little more flour, you also need a little extra flour to dust as you roll out any way. It is better to have a slightly too wet mixture than too dry as you can add more flour more easily than making it wetter in my experience. Also the dough firms up the more you roll it out)
Sift the flour (I don’t bother sifting and it always works fine!) with the soda, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl and gently combine.
Place the butter, sugar, syrup, treacle, essence, rind and juice into a saucepan and gently heat until sugar is dissolved. Don’t let it boil. Allow to cool and then mix into the flour with enough evaporated milk to make a dough you can handle. Chill for half an hour, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge.
Pre-heat the oven to 325 (mark 3 or 160) and grease a couple of baking trays/sheets.
On a floured surface roll out the mixture to about 1/4 inch thick (Play around with this, a thinner roll out makes a crunchier gingerbread, I personally go for thicker roll out which makes it softer and chewier). Use a shaped cutter to cut out your gingerbread pieces (again play around. smaller pieces are crunchier and larger ones softer, I like the larger ones but it is personal taste).
Place the shapes on the greased trays and bake for 10 – 15 mins (I have found 10 to be sufficient but I have a fan oven). Allow to cool slightly and then carefully lift onto cooling trays.
You can decorate these if you wish (personally I don’t feel the need to as they taste so amazing as they are).