My Christmas cookie marathon begins by discussing with the older of my two younger sisters when they want to come over. They’ll appear, sometimes with purchased ingredients that I’ve sent them hunting for, and always with movies. We have our favorites—Home for the Holidays and Christmas Vacation—and sometimes a few of other old classics or things we have just wanted to watch. They’ll be viewed as we mix dough, roll it out, make quarter-sized balls to bake, tirelessly drop tiny teaspoons of jam onto pastry dough, roll it, bake it, sprinkle it with sugar.
Lately, I’ve been attempting to switch it up a bit, adding in new cookie varieties rather than the old standards. Not that the old standards are forgotten or not made as well, but to fill in the gaps and create a more well-rounded plate of Christmas cheer. (Or it’s just an excuse to eat a few more cookies.)
These chocolate crackles have a bit of peppermint baked into them, giving them a special twist a bit different from the norm. You can easily leave out the peppermint extract if you prefer a chocolate cookie.
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar (for rolling the cookies)
In a double boiler, melt together chopped chocolate and butter. Allow to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, beat eggs and granulated sugar until pale yellow and thick and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and peppermint extract to the chocolate and stir to combine. Stir in the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. Refrigerate until firm.
Preheat oven to 350º F. Roll chocolate dough into 2″ balls and then roll in the powdered sugar to coat completely.
Bake 2″ apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes or until the centers are just firm. Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
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|Shaina Olmanson is the home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family and the author of Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine. She is a contributor to Babble.com’s Family Kitchen Blog and the food channelon Lifetime Moms. Shaina can usually be found cooking, at the computer or behind the camera.|