Can you believe Hanukkah just happened and Christmas is next week!? I had the best intentions of baking all the time and gifting the most glorious food gifts, but time has slipped away from me.
But don’t worry. I made these festive treats that are so tasty, I’m sharing the recipe with you!
I was lucky that I had plenty of reminders for the one baking task I actually had a deadline for: the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015! Not only did I receive emails telling me to get to it (nicely, of course), but I received presents to keep me on track. I was thrilled to receive gifts, shown below, from OXO (the Good Grips 7 Piece Liquid Measuring Beakers Set) and Dixie Crystal (the silicone baking mat) for participating in the Food Blogger Cookie Swap for 2015. Seriously though, bakeware bribes work wonders if you want me to bake for you.
Le Creuset signature round dutch oven, anyone?
So, with all of the encouragement to get baking, I picked a recipe for the swap, tested it out on family members at Thanksgiving, and then got to baking for the main event: shipping out a dozen cookies to three different food bloggers. Guys, the pressure was high and this delicious (and easy!) recipe did not disappoint!
A fun note: if you don’t want your cookies to look like logs of chorizo while they chill or mini hamburgers/ sausage/ charcuterie once they’re baked, go easy on the food coloring. I kept adding more because I have no patience. Once you add the food coloring, you can’t take it back!
Despite taking at least 2 hours to chill, this recipe is quite simple and only requires 5 ingredients. And I added a sixth. Typical. But like, who doesn’t want chocolate added to peppermint anything?
Speaking of chocolate, I highly recommend selecting your drizzle technique with aesthetics in mind. As you see below, the Ziplock technique looks okay, but the fork drizzle looks much prettier.. Jackson Pollock-y if you will. Either way, be sure to let your chocolate dry completely before storing.
Peppermint Shortbread with Chocolate Drizzle – The original recipe can be found here, from Trish of Mom on Timeout
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and kept cold
- 1¼ cups Andes peppermint crunch chips (found in the baking aisle)
- 1 tsp peppermint extract (a splash of vanilla is tasty, too)
- red food coloring (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips to melt for drizzle (I liked an approximate 3:1 ratio of dark chocolate to milk chocolate chips, but have mixed it up with what I have on-hand for batches since)
- Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter into very fine crumbs. Stir in extract, food coloring (sparingly!), and Andes peppermint crunch chips.
- Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. (It may be slightly dry, but keep trying! If the dough is too dry and won’t hold together, add a splash of vanilla extract.) Shape dough into a log about two inches in a diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (like mine from Dixie Crystal!) or parchment paper.
- Cut slices of cookie dough about ¼ inch thick and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until cookies are set, but don’t over bake.
- Let cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Let cool completely.
- Place your silicone baking mat or wax paper under your cookie rack. Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler or in 30-second increments in your microwave. Do not let the chocolate burn! Drizzle chocolate over cookies, in whichever fashion (Ziploc or fork) you’d prefer. Or try dipping them! Allow to harden completely.
- Store in airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months
Makes approximately 3 1/2 dozen cookies.
I’m a big fan of these cookies with my morning coffee. Such an adult breakfast.
After I sent these out, I patiently waited for my cookies from other bloggers to arrive. It was worth the wait! Here are the cookies I received from The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap
- Left: Orange Madeline Cookies from Melissa at Freshly Baked Sweets — These were so light and cakey! I enjoyed the soft orange flavor and devoured them all with my tea at work.
- Top right: Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cookies from Tanaya at Tanaya’s Table — Somehow, Tanaya preserved the flavor of red wine in these decadent cookies! I love how soft they were.
- Bottom right: Some sort of chocolate date cookie from Kristie at Creative Touch (her card didn’t mention a cookie name). These cookies were dense without being dry and I loved the surprise nut and dates (?) I got in every other bite.
That’s a wrap on the Great Food Blogger Cookies Swap for 2015! I look forward to reading all of the recipes from other bloggers.
Do you want to know more about the swap? Or maybe you missed the sign-up deadline and want to be notified about next year’s swap? Feel free to click here, where you can sign up to receive notifications from GFBC organizers.