So, here’s the thing. Yeah, we rag on Halloween candy, try to sneak whole wheat and veggies into everything, and give advice on healthier things to put in kids’ stockings, but despite all the preachiness and strong opinions, we aren’t the people on the block handing out carrot sticks to spread good cheer this time of year. I can’t think of an un-conceited way to say it, but we’re just too good at making treats to hand out anything else. (The one exception is humble pie, we’re not any good at making that.) Of all the goodies in our Christmas repertoire, homemade oreos are the most universally loved. (We apparently have a sweet spot for oreos too seeing as how we now have three recipes in the archives and I’m working on a fourth.) These peppermint ones are a perfect Christmas twist both in flavor and appearance. The coolness of the peppermint marries nicely with the rich cream cheese icing and chocolate cookie. It’s like a Christmas party in your mouth that you’ll never want to end.
- 1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 C sugar
- 1/2 C plus 2 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 – 2 1/2 C powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 2-3 TBSP peppermint candy canes, crushed (equivalent of a couple of small candy canes or one large one)
- Crushed candy canes for edges, optional
- Preheat to 375 °F.
- Thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. On low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue mixing until dough comes together in a mass. (The cocoa powder can kick up a cloud so I often drape a dishtowel over the bowl, wrapping it around the beater to contain the mess.)
- Roll the dough into balls (1″ for bite sized or 2″ for larger cookies) and place on baking sheet and gently smash the cookies ever so slightly. (I use a baking stone and a cookie sheet with a silpat mat to help them bake nicely.)
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the center of the cookie looks set and a few cracks ripple through the cookies. Let sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the filling, crush the peppermint candy canes until fine. The easiest way to do this is in a food processor, but putting the candy canes in a plastic bag and beating them with a rolling pin is also an option.
- Beat together the butter and cream cheese. Gradually beat in the sugar and peppermint extract on low speed until smooth and creamy and the level of sweetness meets your personal preference. Mix in 2 TBSP crushed peppermint and add up to a Tablespoon more if you prefer a more minty cookie.
- To assemble the cookies, frost one cookie and then place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Alternatively, you can pipe the frosting onto the cookies, but I only had the patience to do that with three or four for the sole purpose of getting a photo.
- If desired, roll the edges of the assembled cookie in the remaining crushed peppermint.