My house has been exploding with cookies lately. It’s not a bad thing and I’m certainly not complaining. I love this time of year when baking takes priority over dinner. “Here kids, have a few cookies and a glass of milk, we’ll call it good for a meal.” Just kidding…sort of.
Anyway, dark chocolate and peppermint is a combination that can’t be denied. I love putting it together during the holidays, mostly just to torture myself. I can barely say no to this melding of flavors and it kills me having it around. But this combo is refreshing in a sweet kind of way. You know what I mean.
However, in all truth, I love these cookies. They have hunks of melty chocolate inside, with crunchy sugar on the outside. They are insanely good and I hope you try them. They do not disappoint.
What did we do before Hershey’s came out with all these totally cute looking kisses? Not every flavor is my favorite, but I do really like the candy cane rendition. And they are so pretty.
These bake up so easily, no chilling of the dough is necessary and they don’t go flat.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles
Recipe Created by Cathy Pollak for NoblePig.com | Serves: 40 cookies
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup (2 oz) unsweetened cocoa (sift out the lumps) I do weigh my cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (I used the paste, it's so much better)
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 large eggs
8 oz (good quality) bittersweet, dark chocolate, 85% cacao, melted and mostly cooled
4 oz (good quality) semisweet chocolate (think Lindt or Scharffen Berger), chopped 1/3 cup granulated sugar
40 Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle position. Prepare each baking sheet with silicone mats or parchment paper. I used two 12 x 18 rimmed baking sheets, 20 cookies on each tray.
Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla and peppermint extract until well combined; 4-5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating them in before adding another. Add melted (but cooled) chocolate and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Stir in the chopped chocolate (it will take some muscle).
Shape dough into balls (2 level Tablespoons or 30 grams each). Dip the tops of each of the balls into granulated sugar and set the balls sugar side up. The dough does not need to be chilled. Dough does not spread large so I was able to get 20 dough balls on each tray. Four balls in a row (no more).
Bake one sheet at a time for 11 minutes. Remove cookies (let them finish cooking out of the oven) and gently press Hershey's Kiss into the middle of each cookie. Do not move your trays or your cookies until they are completely cool or your Kisses will fall flat. This might take a couple of hours. Just leave them alone and go do the laundry. Twice.
Cathy runs her own vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living. She lives with her husband and two sons. You can visit her at noblepig.com.