peppermint chocolate chip sugar cookies

 

My brain keeps running through all the things I need to get done before tomorrow's family gathering. Should I bake anything else? Well, anything else, besides the chocolate chip cookies I need to make lest my relatives kick me out into the cold. Exactly how clean should I bother getting my apartment? What color should I paint my nails? Are my holiday outfits clean? How many hours are these oranges supposed to be in the oven to dehydrate? Did I forget to buy presents for anyone? Am I really going to make it to 5pm mass tonight? Why do eels exist? Seriously, why is anything that terrifying and awful allowed to exist? Why did I think it was a good idea to watch roughly seven hours of River Monsters?

And that's the point when I tell my brain to shut up and decide to eat another cookie.


 

Like these peppermint sugar cookies studded with chocolate chips. These cookies certainly scream Christmas, and that's why they got chosen for a post over the other four (and counting) options. Peppermint, candy canes, and chocolate all crammed into a sugar cookie. Honestly, I thought going in it might be overkill. I even waffled over whether to include the chocolate. Fortunately, I was wrong. The cookies are buttery enough to keep the mint from overwhelming the cookie, and let's be honest, chocolate makes most things better.

I ran out of icing toward the end, so I've adjusted the recipe here to make some more. I didn't have mini chocolate chips, so I chopped up some regular-sized ones. If baked until you see golden edges, the edges get crunchy, which I adore. But if you want cookies soft all the way through, don't let them get to that point: take them out at the merest hint of gold. You can take or leave the peppermint extract in the frosting, depending on how much mint flavor you want. Use the candy canes, though, unless you have a grudge against pretty cookies or something.

I'd like to believe I'll have a post for Christmas, but in all the too likely event I don't, I hope you all have a most merry Christmas or whatever holiday or non-occasion or Netflix marathon you choose to celebrate! And please, do yourself a favor, and eat more cookies than can possibly be considered reasonable.

 

peppermint chocolate chip sugar cookies
Adapted from Everyday Food December 2012

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, or coarsely chopped normal-sized chips
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
4-5 candy canes, crushed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add egg and beat until blended. Reducing speed to low, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls. Place two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake until the edges are lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make icing, whisk together confectioners sugar and the first 4 tablespoons cream in a small bowl. Add more cream as necessary to get a nice spreadable glaze. If you like, add up to another 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Spread the icing over the cookies, and sprinkle them with the crushed candy canes. Let dry completely on the wire racks. Store up to 3 days in an airtight container, with waxed paper separating the layers.

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