Monday, December 12, 2011

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies

As a missionary, I'm always faced with challenges opportunities for creativity.  As I've been baking and preparing our home and hearts for Christmas, one thing has been missing- Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks.  I love everything peppermint- so it should come as no surprise to you that I would find a way to bring some peppermint magic to this baking week. 

Here it is: Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies.

You could probably make these easier in the states where things like peppermint extract exist.  But all I had to work with was peppermint tea bags.  So here ya go:

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies
adapted from Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Before you even think about baking- first you need to make your tea infused butter.  Melt 1 cup + 1 T butter in a small saucepan.  When completely melted, pour contents of 4 peppermint tea bags into the melted butter.  Let sit 10 minutes to infuse the flavor into the butter.  Then strain the tea leaves out and refrigerate the butter until you are ready to make the cookies.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peppermint tea infused butter (room temperature)
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in sugar. Place, about 3 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)  Enjoy!

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