It has been a Christmas cookie bonanza 'round these parts. Kiddo's class had a bake sale after their holiday program last night to raise money for their annual trip to Washington D.C. When it comes to baking, my OCD rears its ugly head. Oh, and a few hours before the bake sale probably isn't the time to try "stained glass" cookies. They looked like a prop from an episode of Dexter.
Still, I made some tried and true tasties. I used the Soft and Chewy Chocolate Drops recipe from the back of the Baker's chocolate box and modified it to make it more festive (and dairy-free for Kiddo). These always go over like gangbusters. And don't require that I haul the KitchenAid mixer down from the top of the fridge. There's always that moment of "is today the day I suffer a head injury?" when performing that precarious task.
I also reconfirmed my desire to have a kitchen with an island. A girl can't churn out cookies when they are cooling on every surface in her house. I'm also hoping people will see the occasional dog hair as "charming". Appetizing, no?
Chewy Chocolate Peppermint Drops
- 4 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate
- 3/4 cup butter (I use Earth Balance or Fleischmann's unsalted margarine)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tbsp shortening
- 6 squares Baker's semisweet chocolate
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
- hard peppermint candies, crushed
MICROWAVE unsweetened chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
HEAT oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (I use my mini ice cream scooper thingy to portion them out and then roll them in my palm); place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray.
BAKE 8 min. or just until set. Cool on baking sheet 1 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.
NOTE: They will look rather raw...don't freak! Once cooled completely, they are chewy nuggets of awesomeness. Also, don't wait longer than a minute or so to transfer them to a cooling rack, otherwise they start to stick to the pan.
GLAZE: Melt the 6 squares semisweet chocolate and 2 tbsp of shortening in a saucepan over low heat; stirring constantly. When completely melted, remove from heat and add 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract (optional). Once cookies are completely cooled, dip the top half into the chocolate mix. Immediately sprinkle with the crushed peppermint candies.
NOTE: I like a little peppermint extract in the glaze sometimes, but they are delicious without it so don't run out and buy a flavoring you won't use again. We were out, so I didn't use it this time. Mario suggested Peppermint Schnapps, but Mommy doesn't like to share her liquor.
Easy peasy. Enjoy!