Christmas Thin Mints
Every Christmas I have a handful of candy canes that never get eaten. I have a circa 2006 candy cane that I just keep putting in the Christmas box year after year, hanging it up on the tree, and not even the dog will touch it. What better way to use those lingering candies than to dress up a classic peppermint shortbread cookie, dipped in chocolate? And, don’t worry, I went out and bought new candy canes for this. — Alison Borden
Recipe from the Fresh Tastes blog on pbs.org. Ingredients
FOR THE COOKIES
8 ounces of unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup of powdered sugar 1 cup of cocoa powder 1 large egg yolk ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract ½ teaspoon of fine grain salt 1½ cups of all-purpose flour
14 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract Three small candy canes, crushed Directions
In a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and beat once more, scraping down the sides as needed. Next, add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, peppermint extract and salt. Add the all-purpose flour and mix just until the batter is mixed. The dough may be a bit crumbly.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into two balls. Flatten those balls into disks and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Transfer to them to the fridge to rest for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the first disk of dough from the fridge and roll it out onto a floured work surface and floured rolling pin. The thickness should be about k-inch. Stamp out cookies using a 1 ½-inch cutter or whatever shape you like, recombining the scraps, rolling it and cutting out more cookies. Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes.
Repeat with the second disk of dough. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
While the cookies are baking and cooling, nestle a stainless steel bowl or glass bowl atop a saucepan filled with a few inches of water over medium-low heat. Add the chocolate to the bowl and slowly melt, stirring occasionally until glossy and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. Dip the cookies into the chocolate using a fork and allow the chocolate to drain off. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top with a few pinches of crushed candy canes. Place the baking sheets in the fridge or freezer to set. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Christmas Thin Mints, made by Alison Borden.