Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peppermint Mocha Krinkles

Y'all.  It's crunch time.  Gifts need to be wrapped.  Actually, gifts need to be bought.  Whomp whomp.  I'm going to get to it, promise!  Speaking of gifts, have y'all seen the trend of people making payments on other people's layaways?  I think that's pretty awesome.  It's one of the things I love about this season.  People doing good things for other people.  No recognition needed.  Doing it just because it'll make someone's life a little easier.   I'm a big believer in karma.  That's why I let cars in ahead of me in traffic (safely of course).
These cookies will totally get you some good karma if you make them for other people.  They'll also just make you happy if you eat them yourself.  So it's a win-win.  I got the idea for this cookie when I had a similar cookie from Panera.  My sister and I like to split a chocolate chip cookie now and then, and one time they were out of our usual; so I picked out a peppermint chocolate cookie for us instead.  I also wanted it to have a bit of a coffee flavor, like a peppermint mocha from Starbucks.  P.S.  I have no idea why I'm spelling krinkles with a "k" when I know good and well the word is crinkles.  It's a mystery.

BTW- I'm experimenting with a new format.  Basically I want to make it easier for y'all to sort through and find the recipes you want without having to scroll for days.  I'll probably adjust the old posts over time, and it might be after Christmas before everything gets formatted.

So these cookies.  The hardest part is melting the chocolate, which takes like 5 minutes.  Most of that time is getting the water hot enough.
Here's the deal: Milk, baking powder, salt, peppermint extract, cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, espresso powder, bittersweet/semisweet chocolate, butter, and an egg.  Ignore the fact that what I have in the picture is granulated sugar.  Pretend in your brain-space that it's powdered sugar.  And for the love of all that is holy, please don't say ex-presso.  It's esssss-presso.  That is all.
Begin by sifting your dry ingredients.  Cocoa powder is one of those things that desperately needs to be sifted.  It'll also cover you in a fine film.  Just go with it.
Cream the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy, as per the usual.
You need to melt the chocolate and let it cool.  If you have a double boiler, awesome.  If not, do what I do.  Get a heat-proof bowl that fits over a saucepan comfortably.  Put some water in the saucepan and heat it to a simmer with the bowl and chocolate on top.  The most important part is that the bowl shouldn't touch the water.  This melts the chocolate gently, lovingly.  Just whisk until it's smooth.  I used half bittersweet and half semisweet chocolate but feel free to use either/or.
Add the egg, then the cooled chocolate and peppermint extract.
Add the dry ingredients in a couple of stages, taking care to mix until just combined.  At the last second add the milk and incorporate it.  The dough will be pretty loose.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap it into a ball.  Freeze the dough 45 minutes to make it easier to handle.
When your dough is ready, bust out the powdered sugar.
Pinch off pieces of dough to form balls that are about an inch in diameter.  Roll them in powdered sugar until they're completely covered.  Be prepared for major messytimes on your hands.
Set the balls on parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  The cookies spread a little bit, so you don't want them all up on each other.  Bake 12-14 minutes.
Let them cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.  Look at all that awesome crackle-ness!
These are soft cookies with a strong espresso flavor and just a hint of peppermint.  If you want a stronger peppermint presence, just up the amount of extract you put in.  They're perfect with coffee or a glass of milk.  These will definitely be going in the cookie tin for my neighbors.

Peppermint Mocha Krinkles (makes 16-18)
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
4 tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 c packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
4 oz bittersweet and/or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tbs milk
Powdered sugar, for coating

  • Sift flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together until fluffy.  Add egg, melted chocolate, and peppermint extract until well combined.  Mix in dry ingredients gradually until just incorporated.  Add milk and stir until just combined.  Dough will be a little loose.  Scrape dough onto plastic wrap and flatten into a disk.  Freeze 45 minutes to make dough workable.
  • When dough is ready, preheat oven to 350º.  Pour about 1/2 c of powdered sugar into a small bowl.  Pinch off pieces of dough to roll into 1-inch balls.  Roll balls in powdered sugar and coat thoroughly.  Place on parchment-lined baking sheets 2 inches apart.  Bake 12-14 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheets about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

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