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A BFA Painting and Drawing graduate gone cookie designer and decorator.  I bring my knowledge of art, composition, and color to pastries to create the perfect cookies and cakes for your events or occasions.
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Peppermint Vs. Andes - Peppermint Bark Cookies

 For a while now I've been wanting to make super rich, chocolatey, brownie-like cookies.  And come winter my cravings for mint chocolate cookies start to grow.  But then the question became do I go the route of Peppermint or Andes mints?  So I decided to do a mint cookie bake off...one recipe, two refreshing, cool, minty variations.  In both cookies, the chocolate mixture I use is rich and deep but not too dark.  They have a slight crisp to the outside but a soft, gooey brownie like texture on the inside.  Theses cookies are intense, guaranteed to please any chocolate lover!  I built this recipe after studying about ten or so variations, putting together what I thought would make the perfect cookie and if I haven't made I'm pretty darn close!  You can try both and decide for yourself which on is superior!

This is the Peppermint Bark Cookie post.  I added crushed Peppermints to the mix for a lingering, warm, almost spice from the peppermint.  The peppermint adds a great crunch within the cookie.  And the white chocolate chips add a creamy, smooth, sweet balance to the peppermint and completes the peppermint bark effect of the cookies.  

The process to this is pretty much identical to the Andes Fudge Cookies, but I figured it'd be easier to follow as two separate posts.

Peppermint Bark Cookies
Recipe a Jesicakes original
Makes 18-20 cookies
Ingredients
- 1/3 cup split between brown rice and white rice flour*
- 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 oz 60% cocoa chocolate, chopped (I use Ghiradelli, 4oz is one baking bar)
- 2 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 6 oz white chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup crushed candy canes plus extra, set aside extra.**

*I used both because I feel like brown rice flour is more substantial than white rice, but also wanted a bit of silkiness from the white rice.  I'm sure if you used one or the other it'd be fine.
**I used 6 candy canes which was the perfect amount.

Preheat oven until 350˚F.  Prepare baking sheets with silpat mat or parchment paper (two if you have them).

Crush the candy canes.  I used a food processor and pulsed until it was all crushed.

Whisk together the rice flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.
Melt the butter, 60% chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  Or if you have a double boiler use that.  Microwaving chocolate can be tricky, the key is short intervals.  I do it in 15-20 second intervals (the closer to completely melted, the shorter the time).  It took about 6 times or so.  Stir in between every go in the microwave.  The chocolate should be smooth without any noticeable chunks.  Allow to cool slightly, but still fluid.
While you're melting the chocolate, beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla.  Beat on high until light and frothy, about 5 minutes.  This step is what will make the cookies have that shiny, crackly exterior.

Turn the mixer to low, and add the melted chocolate/butter mixture to the eggs.
Add the flour mixture.  Scrape down sides of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.

Mixture should be silky and shiny.  Slightly thick but with fluidity.

Add the 1/2 cup of crushed peppermint, peppermint extract, and the white chocolate chips.
Drop the cookies onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  Dust with the extra crushed peppermint, reserving some for after baking.

If you only have one baking sheet, prescoop the rest of the dough as well and set aside.  Due to the chocolate content, this dough will harden up pretty quickly.  It's perfectly fine to bake once they've hardened, but they're more difficult to scoop.

Bake for 10 minutes, turning half way.  Bake until the top looks glossy and cracked.
The peppermint will have melted in the oven, it will harden back up, but for presentation, sprinkle some fresh peppermint on top if you'd like.  Cool on the baking sheet at least 5 minutes.  Transfer parchment or mat onto a cooling rack and cool until you can easily peal the cookies off the mat.  Cool on cooling rack for another 20-30 minutes until completely cooled.  You want to allow the cookies to set.
These cookies are great when cooled, you can also warm them.  They stay great for a few days in an airtight container.

This recipe is so versatile.  I can't wait to try it again as just plain chewy, chocolate, brownie cookies...or even better, with a bit of espresso powder.  But for now, with the mint they're already heavenly.  It's so difficult for me to pick which I like better!  I love the lingering of the peppermint, but also the sudden burst of cool from the Andes.  In the end, I think the crunch of the peppermint may just slightly edge out the Andes.
So which did you prefer??  Andes or Peppermint?

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. The peppermint was nice and crunchy which was great texture variation!

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