I love Christmas cookies. Growing up, my mom, grandmother, and I would spend a messy, but wonderful Saturday before Christmas baking (and eating) cookie after cookie. The kitchen looked a bit like an explosion of flour and sugar, but at the end of the day we had at least a half dozen varieties to show for our work. Each year, my mom and I made sprintz cookies and toffee bars, while my grandmother made bourbon balls (and enjoyed a couple just to make sure they were perfectly spiked).
But the real fun was picking the new cookies we were going to try. One year it was cookie lollipops (perhaps the predecessor to cake pops?) Another dark chocolate cranberry jingles. Another elaborately decorated Santa cookies that included a coconut beard on each jolly old elf. Some were wonderful additions that made a comeback the following year, others were laughable failures that simply fell flat, but either way, we had a wonderful time.
As years passed our cookie filled Saturday changed. Grandma moved on to supervise from on high and Mom and I condensed our baking into an evening when my husband and I were visiting for Christmas. So this year, I decided to do the experimental cookie on my own and make sure Mom got to taste-test. Thankfully, Mom approved and I think this one will become a new staple.
Chocolate Peppermint Chip Cookies
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 c. granulated sugar
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 bag of Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips (approximately 5 ounces)
Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, eggs (one at a time), and mix well. Add cocoa and mix again. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and add to mixture on low speed. When well blended add peppermint chips and mix on low speed.
Drop dough on baking sheets in rounded spoon fulls. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then move to wire rack.
Yields: 45-50 cookies, depending on size.