Last year I began the office tradition of a holiday cookie swap. Our office has been displaced this year since Hurricane Sandy flooded our downtown location, but luckily we started at a temporary space last week. So swapping was a go! Last year I made chocolate lace sandwich cookies, but this year I wanted to do something more festive. I made roll out cookies a few weeks ago and had forgotten how much fun it was, so I decided to do another batch for the swap, this time in chocolate and with peppermint frosting. The candy canes have been around from a holiday shoot I did in October, but they had all arrived cracked; I hung on to them just in case they’d have a use down the road. And this was a terrific use of them!
I found my chocolate cookie recipe on Smitten Kitchen and my Snowflake Cookie Cutters were from William Sonoma. I don’t see them on their website anymore, but these look pretty similar. I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I find snowflakes to be pretty holiday neutral, but you could do this recipe with any shape cookie. I think round could be cute as well, and of course traditional candy cane shaped.
Happy Holidays Eaters!
Chocolate Roll-out cookies from Deb at Smitten Kitchen
3 cups all-purpose flour *plus extra for rolling.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup warm water
2-2.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp pure peppermint extract
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed. I went with a little thicker and baked for exactly 11 minutes each time. Perfection!
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Begin to prepare the icing (start with 2 cups and add more if needed). Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat on low til combined and then increase speed until your icing thickens. The consistency should look like marshmallow fluff. Frost cooled cookies and top with crushed candy canes and colored sugar if desired. You can also separate the frosting and use food coloring to add some hue. If you want to save frosting just make sure it’s in an air tight container. A small mason jar worked just fine for me.
Allow frosted cookies to sit and icing will harden making the cookies stack-able for easy transportation. The candy canes caused mine to stick a bit but nothing major. I added some parchment sheets to break them up.