Saturday, December 04, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles

You'd think all I do is bake bread and cookies, wouldn't you? I swear that I cook regular food, too. I made these to serve at our holiday open house tomorrow and they are quite tasty and festive. But not so festive that you couldn't serve them at another time of year. Or leave out the peppermint extract and sub in another. Add more espresso powder, sub a smidge of coffee liqueur and make them more coffee flavored. BTW, you'll want to give these a rest in the fridge before baking--at least 2 hours or overnight. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

Adapted from Cooking Light and Bakers Royale.

4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 1/4 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate chips (good stuff like Ghiradelli not Nestle)
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules or instant coffee granules
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
2 large egg whites

For rolling:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine oil and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat; cook until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Add espresso granules to pan; stir until blended. Remove from heat. Pour chocolate mixture into a large bowl; cool 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, syrup, peppermint and vanilla. Add egg whites, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring gently just until combined. Cover; chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350°.

3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dredge balls in 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1/4 cup granulated sugar; place balls 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until tops are cracked and almost set. Cool cookies on pan 2 minutes or until set; remove from pan. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

A few notes: this dough tends to get soft quickly so only take out maybe half the dough at a time. The warmer the dough is before baking the more the cookies spread and less crackled they look. Also, you don't make more balls that you can bake at a time b/c the cookies start absorbing the sugar (which is why you add some granulated sugar to help prevent this). They are a bit fussy to make but are so chocolately and pepperminty that it's worth the effort. Also a great recipe for a cookie exchange.

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