Monday, January 10, 2011

FWC CHRISTMAS: chocolate chip and peppermint crinkles

I love Christmas and I love Eve baking even more. You know, the joy of getting messy together with the family. Unfortunately this year (and maybe the next and the next and th-), nobody wanted to get their hands dirty with flour and chocolate. Oh and I ended up washing the dishes too. All by myself. At least they were nice enough to give me company?
Searching for the perfect Christmas recipe is actually stressful. There are so many choices to select from. I was unsure of doing a savory or a sweet dish. But since I just started this whole cooking and baking thing I thought I’d keep it very simple this year.

These cookies were so soft and chewy and minty, it was just gooooood. I didn’t have peppermint extract on hand so I used extra peppermint candies. I could have made my own extract but it needed at least a month before I could use it and I found this recipe a week ago so I decided to leave it out. I think these were meant to be bite-sized though. Maybe try scooping out teaspoonfuls of dough instead of tablespoons. But anyway if you like the combination of mint and chocolate (who doesn’t) then be sure to try this.
I don’t know if it’s the joy of eating these the day before Christmas but it kind of made me feel ‘warm’ inside. Maybe it’s just me……
Happy Christmas to everyone. Hope your home is filled with lots of love, blessings, carols and good food :)

Chocolate Chip and Peppermint Crunch Crackles
from Bon Appetit (December 2002)

8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup finely crushed red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies
6 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Powdered sugar or coarsely crushed peppermints

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 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, then chocolate 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 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.

*Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

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