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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies 1

DAY 4: Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies

We have finally found an m&m that our chocolate-adverse Little A will eat:

Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies 3

Although I think there must be something wrong with me as a parent that I am looking for candy that my child will eat.

He isn’t happy, however, when I put them in a chocolate cookie. So does this make me a better parent for making sugar-laden treats that he has no desire to eat? Or an even worse mother for tempting him with something he likes, and then pulling the rug out from under him by enveloping it in the one thing he hates?

RECIPE:

Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies 1

2 ¾ cups flour
¾ cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2  eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ bags (9.9 oz each) M&M’s White Chocolate Peppermint candies, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla extract until blended.

Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix until dough is smooth. Gently mix in one bag of M&M’s. Drop by scant tablespoons onto baking sheets. Press 2 or 3 M&M’s into the top of each cookie.

Bake at 350°F for 10-11 minutes, or until the cookies are set around the edges, but still soft in the center. Don’t over bake. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

**You can also use chocolate mint M&M’s or regular chocolate M&M’s

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Homemade Peppermint Swirl Marshmallows

Peppermint Marshmallows 1

DAY 7: Peppermint Swirl Marshmallows

Now that you have Hot Cocoa Mix, it is time to step up your Marshmallow game (I shouldn’t write in the middle of BYU basketball games; sports analogies are not really my thing). But in all seriousness, save the bag of Jet Puff for making Rice Krispies treats, and make yourself (and friends) homemade flavored marshmallows this year.

These marshmallows are peppermint flavored with a fun swirl.

Marshmallows are a fairly easy candy to make. Much more forgiving than caramels, no tempering like chocolate. In fact, it is the mixer that does most of the work for you. But the powdered sugar coating does tend to make a bit of a mess. You will also need a stand mixer (or a lot of arm strength with your hand mixer) and a candy thermometer.

Once the marshmallows have set overnight, you can easily cut them into squares, or use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.

Hot Cocoa Mix 1

RECIPE:

Peppermint Swirl Marshmallows

Peppermint Marshmallows 1

⅔ cup powdered sugar
⅓ cup cornstarch
1 ½ cups cold water, divided
3 packets unflavored gelatin (about 2 ½ Tbs)
¼ tsp salt
⅔ cup light corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
scant ½ tsp peppermint extract
2-3 drops red food coloring

Line a 9×13” pan with nonstick foil (or spray regular foil lightly with cooking spray). Set aside

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cornstarch; set aside.

Pour 3/4 cup of the cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand until the gelatin becomes very firm, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.

In a small saucepan, mix the remaining 3/4 cup water and the corn syrup. Pour the sugar into the center of the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, gently swirling the pan, until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture reaches 240°F, about 10-15 minutes.

Carefully pour the hot syrup into the center of the mixer bowl with the softened gelatin, avoiding the sides of the bowl as much as possible. Using the whisk attachment, turn mixer onto low speed. Gradually increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is very thick and stiff, about 7 – 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and peppermint extract and mix until well blended. Turn off mixer and place 2 –3 drops of red food coloring on top of the whipped mixture (space drops evenly throughout the bowl). Pulse 2 or 3 times until gently swirled. Do not overmix, or you will just have pink marshmallows.

Working quickly, scrape the mixture into the oiled pan using an oiled spatula. Smooth the top into an even layer. Sift 2 Tbs of the powdered sugar mixture over the pan. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature.

The next day, turn the marshmallow slab out onto a cutting board and peel off the foil. Sift 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar mixture over the slab of marshmallows. Using a sharp knife that has been rubbed with oil, cut into 1-inch  square marshmallows. Or use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. (If you are using cookie cutters and don’t want them to be 1” tall, then spread soft marshmallow mixture into a foil lined half-sheet baking pan before letting them set overnight.)

Place the remaining powdered sugar mixture in a large Ziploc bag. Working with 3 or 4 marshmallows at a time, toss the marshmallows in the bag with the powdered sugar mixture, then toss in a fine-mesh strainer to remove any excess powder.

Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container or bag for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 90 square marshmallows

(Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles 1

DAY 4: Oreo Truffles

Delicious truffles without all of the work. Three ingredients: Oreos (regular, not Doublestuff), cream cheese and dipping chocolate (plus any sprinkles or toppings you want to decorated them with). I know that these are “cheater” truffles, but sometimes that is all I have the energy for.

They are especially good if you use the Peppermint Oreos and top them with crushed candy canes:

Oreo Truffles 3

For the chocolate haters in your house, try these with Golden Oreos and white chocolate. You don’t have chocolate haters in your house? Count your blessings. But still try the vanilla variety. Just dip them in good old-fashioned dark chocolate.

The insides of these truffles are simply made by mixing crushed Oreos with cream cheese. These are great for kids to help make. Better them with the messy hands than me!

Oreo Truffles 2

RECIPE:

Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles 1

36 Oreo cookies (Original, Peppermint or Golden Oreos)
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
About 1 lb dipping chocolate (dark, milk, or white chocolate)
Toppings (additional crushed Oreos, sprinkles, crushed candy canes, drizzled colored chocolate)

Finely crush Oreos (with the filling) in a food processor or by hand. Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended.

Shape truffle filling into 48 (1-inch) balls. Refrigerate undipped truffle balls for 30-60 minutes for easier dipping (not necessary but helpful).

Melt dipping chocolate. Using a fork, dip truffles in the melted chocolate. Use a second fork to push the truffle onto waxed paper or parchment paper lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos, candy canes or sprinkles while chocolate coating is still wet. **

Refrigerate until firm.

** NOTE: If you are piping contrasting colors of chocolate onto the truffles, do this AFTER the chocolate coating has hardened.

(Adapted from Kraft)

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Peppermint & Vanilla Butter Cookies

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DAY 8: This was a new cookie recipe for me this year. I found it at the Fun and Food Blog. They looked so cute, that I couldn’t resist trying them. Unfortunately, they turned out to be absolutely awful! No one in our house liked them. And when a teenage boy won’t finish a cookie, you know it’s bad. Little J’s comment was, “These taste like Moon Sand.” Having never eaten Moon Sand, I’ll have to take her word for it. But they had a crumbly, pasty texture that instantly sucked all of the moisture out of your mouth.

There is the definite possibility that I did something wrong making these, or that the recipe was printed wrong (1/3 cup powdered sugar seems a little low). But it wasn’t just the sweetness. Try them yourself, if you dare. Let me know how they turn out for you. I was so disappointed because they turned out super cute! They did, however, prompt a great discussion at the dinner table tonight about how these would be a great cookie to trick people with, since they look so good, but taste so awful.

Peppermint and Vanilla Butter Cookies
………………………….(Recipe from Mansi at Fun and Food Blog)

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract *
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 tsp red food color

Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in the flour.

Divide the dough in half. Stir peppermint extract and food color into one half of dough, while keeping the other part as it is.
Divide each color of dough in half again (making 2 white and 2 pink parts).

Roll each section of dough on a generously floured surface into a thick cylindrical rope, about 12 inches long. Place 2 ropes, 1 red and 1 white, side by side. Twist them together with your hands so they get entwined. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of dough.

Make small balls from each double-colored dough, then shape each into a flat cookie shape.

Place cookies about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool completely on the wire rack.

*NOTE: The only change I made to the original recipe was to use vanilla extract instead of vanilla essence.

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TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES RECAP:
DAY 1:
Swedish Peppar KaKar
DAY 2: Mint Oreo Cookies
DAY 3: Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies
DAY 4: Cherry Nut Mudslides
DAY 5: Snickerdoodles
DAY 6: Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies
DAY 7: Peanut Butter Kisses

 

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