Every December is a whirlwind of cookie baking and this year is no exception! I had my very first cookie-baking get-together of the season and tried out two recipes that were new to me. I decided to make Choco-Mint Blossoms from the Better Homes and Gardens annual Christmas Cookie magazine that I can’t resist purchasing every year. The friend that was baking with me brought along a recipe for Nanaimo Bars that we made as our second cookie.
The Choco-Mint Blossoms are made from a simple chocolate cookie dough that is chilled and rolled into balls and baked. Immediately after removing the cookies from the oven, a peppermint candy kiss is pressed into the top of the warm cookie. Tasty and beautiful!
Nanaimo Bars hail from Canada and while I tasted one there I have never tried making them before. They turned out to be very simple. As a non-baked cookie, they did take a little bit of time to make but most of that was waiting for layers to chill. A chocolatey bottom layer is made from melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, nuts and butter and allowed to chill. Over the top of that goes a simple sweet layer, much like frosting, which is made from custard powder and butter. Once that layer chills, a layer of melted chocolate is spread over the top and chilled yet again. The result is a very sweet and rich candy-like cookie. It’s a good thing I only kept half of the 8″x8″ pan!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (or a mix of extra dark and regular cocoa powder)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 42 peppermint-swirl candy kisses
- In a large bowl, cream the butter for 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder until completely combined. Scrape the bowl as needed. Beat in the egg, milk and peppermint extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer and then stir in the rest by hand.
- Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour or until the dough is easy to handle.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Shape the dough into 1 inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are firm.
- While the cookies are still warm, immediately press and cnady kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.