Cookie baking is an integral part of Christmas. There's nothing like those moments when you're in the kitchen baking something wonderful and everything around you is just perfect and festive. The beauty of the tree, the fireplace glowing, the sound of a loved Christmas tune playing on the radio and the feeling of utter family happiness. If it happens to be snowing outside, all the better!
I must admit to being a little late this year though. There were lots of odds and ends that needed to be taken care of, some cooking classes and a few deadlines which sort of made me put my cookie baking tradition on hold.
With a little more time on my hands, I've decided to do some catching up. I was thinking of going straight to the heart of holiday baking and making either gingerbread people or butter cookies, but I sort of had the following recipe floating around in my head for a while and wanted to try it out first.
One of my favorite chocolates back home were those yummy York Peppermint Patties. Little circles of dark chocolatey goodness filled with a cool, creamy peppermint center! It's been quite a while since I've had one and I think I was reminded of them when I visited a Dutch foreign foods store recently and saw them there. They were the inspiration for these lovely little chocolate and peppermint cookies. The recipe makes about 70 of them, so there will be plenty to share with friends, family, your neighbors, the postman and just about anybody that happens to cross your path this holiday season! They are also a perfect sweet treat to have with your morning coffee. It's the holidays- you're allowed to be naughty!
PS: I always give my daughter's teachers homemade cookies as a present!
Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Drops
Makes about 70 cookies
150g fine sugar
60g dark brown sugar
2 tsps mint extract
50g best quality Dutch cocoa powder
320g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tbsps full milk
Cream the butter and the sugars in a large bowl. Add the egg and the mint extract and beat again. Add in the flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir through with a wooden spoon. Add in the milk and knead the dough until it comes together. Preheat the oven to 190C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Roll out little balls the size of walnuts and arrange them on your baking sheet with a little space between them. Flatten them a little with the prongs of a fork and bake (in batches, if necessary) for 12-15 minutes. Allow them to cool on a wire rack and keep in an airtight container for about 5 days.