Welcome Heather of girlichef.com for a guest post today!
So. Reeni and I? We’re having a Holiday Cookie Share along with McCormick today. And I, for one, could not be more excited! I’ve been hammering it out in the kitchen since the end of November working on all sorts of holiday treats. I mean, that’s what we do, right? Give thanks, enjoy an enormous meal, and then head right back into the thick of it.
I’ve had years where I did not make a single treat to give away. I mean, I made a few things in the week leading up to Christmas, but I just could not be bothered to assemble tins and trays and festive little gift boxes.
On the other hand, I’ve also had years in which I went nuts (and chocolate and sprinkles and…) and in turn, wound up with towering stacks of tins filled with holiday sweets threatening to visit the kitchen floor. This year, is shaping up to be one of those years. I mean, I’ve even broken out the candy thermometer. And that is a rare occurrence. Obviously, I mean business.
Now, I’ve noticed that most years have a theme. Unintentional, yet ever-present. I’ve had caramel years… plenty of chocolate years… maybe even a year chock-full of nuts… more often than not, it’s all about the warm spices in gingerbread, gingersnaps, and molasses crinkles. But this year? This year has been all about the peppermint in my kitchen.
Usually I make sure that I have my fair share of peppermint ice cream and/or milkshakes this time of year. And, of course, we have our fair share of candy canes sucked down to dangerously pointy shanks. It’s a rite of passage. It makes winter official. But honestly, that usually about as far as peppermint goes in our house. This year is proving to be different.
I kicked the whole thing off by dusting off said candy thermometer and making a batch of homemade peppermint taffy (not posted yet, but look for it soon). Then came a pan of white chocolate peppermint fudge. Made several times since, along with a dark chocolate peppermint version that I’ve been getting many requests for.
I have not been able to get enough peppermint! So, when I received a little box of goodies from McCormick to use in something for this Holiday Cookie Share with Reeni, you can bet that I let out a little yip when I a bottle of pure peppermint extract. It was a sign. The peppermint-madness must continue. So, what I decided to do was to put together a Peppermint-Lover’s Cookie Share Box.
I love choosing a theme like this when it comes to holiday baking and gifting. From a box of random, fruit and nut-studded goodies to a box of chocolates in various shades of brown and white to a box-o-spice, I have the best time working a theme into a box. For the Peppermint-Lover’s Box, I choose to go with reds and whites. I added in different types of peppermint candy and even some peppermint fudge. Now, all of this is pretty simple to pull together. But what’s even better? The cookies may be the easiest part of all. By making one large batch of dough and dividing into halves or quarters, you can add variations on one theme.
I also plan on making another batch of peppermint taffy, so that I can add a handful of it to the box, as well. I also have visions of peppermint truffles and homemade peppermint marshmallows making their way into one of those compartments. The only thing left to do is stand back and question yourself as to why you never bothered to ask if the person receiving the box is as fond of peppermint as you are. Fingers crossed!
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez (girlichef.com)
- Place butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in heavy cream and peppermint extract. Add flour and salt and beat until thoroughly combined. Dough will be sort of craggy, and resemble pie dough.
- At this point, divide dough into four fairly equal portions. This is when you will want to stir or knead in any mix-ins or food coloring that you may be using.
- Shape each portion of dough into a log that is approximately 8" long and 2" thick. Wrap each individual log tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. You could also freeze the dough for up to one month (double wrap and then place into a freezer safe baggie once chilled, label with date).
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
- Use a sharp knife to cut each log into ¼" thick slices. Set slices at least an inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Slide into preheated oven and bake for ~14 minutes, or until the edges have just turned golden. If using more than one baking sheet, rotate pans halfway through baking.
- Transfer cookies from tray to a wire rack to cool completely. Allow cookies that are either studded with crushed candy or rolled in it to sit on the sheet 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling.
Thanks Heather! Peppermint is synonymous with the holiday season. You can’t have one without the other. Your peppermint lover’s gift box is a dream come true.
Head on over to girlichef.com to check out my guest post/cookie recipe!
What is your favorite cookie to bring to a recipe swap or holiday party? Recipe links welcome.
*In full disclosure this is a sponsored post. I received monetary compensation and free products to create my recipe and post. All opinions are my own.