I am determined to finish these Christmas cookie posts. This post will be talking about three different recipes, one of which isn’t actually a cookie.
For gifts I placed cookies in tins, with a few different cookies in each tin. This one had a chocolate chip cookie made with Christmas chocolate Smarties (for you U.S. people, Smarties are like M&Ms but better ;D), white chocolate peppermint bark, and soft ginger cookies.
White Chocolate Peppermint Bark
This is actually a very easy recipe to make. The hardest part was probably breaking up the peppermints. I used a batch of candy canes that I had on hand. Smashing them doesn’t work too well; the sections that break off are too large, and they are extremely sharp. I ended up placing the candy canes inside a Ziploc bag, and then placed the bag inside yet another Ziploc bag. Then I folded a towel around the bag, and used a rolling pin to crush the candy with a rolling motion. (Hammering doesn’t help much except make a lot of noise.)
Take a small baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
For the chocolate, I took a hunk of white Callebaut chocolate and used a sharp knife to cut it up into smaller pieces to make it easier to melt. I filled a pot about 1/4th full of water and brought it to a boil, and then made a makeshift double boiler by placing a temper proof glass bowl on top of the pot. It is important that the bowl does not touch the boiling water. I then stuck the chocolate in the bowl and gave the chocolate an occasional stir. It melted fairly quickly.
Using some of the finer pieces of crushed peppermint, I stirred it into the melted chocolate. At this point, you could also add a drop or two of peppermint extract. I didn’t bother as I added quite a bit of candy.
Then I poured the chocolate onto the lined baking sheet and spread the chocolate around until I had the desired thickness. Using the remainder of candy (mainly larger chunks), I scattered them across the surface of the chocolate.
Although you could let the chocolate cool on the counter, I found it faster to stick the whole thing into the fridge. Once cooled, the chocolate can be broken up with your hands. Make sure your hands aren’t warm or the chocolate will melt; I ran my hands under cold water briefly.
One variation of this recipe includes making a dark or milk chocolate layer first, letting it cool, and then placing the white chocolate layer on top. You could sandwich the peppermint in between the layers, or mix the pieces into either or both layers of chocolate.
I prefer using candy canes as I like the mix of red, green and white colours, but I’ve seen it with red and white peppermint as well.
Sorry, I didn’t list specific measurements because I eyeballed everything. Adjust the amount of peppermint based on your personal tastes and visual appeal.
Soft Ginger Cookies
Adapted from All Recipes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls. (Original recipe said to roll the cookies in 2 tablespoons of sugar, but I decided that there was enough sugar in the cookies already.) Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from All Recipes
Makes approximately 24 servings
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and stir until mixed.
In large bowl, combine sugars, and butter. Mix until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Add 1 cup of dry ingredients at a time to mixture until all is incorporated. Drop cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
I think, due to the type of chocolate that I used, that the cookie did taste differently. With regular chocolate chips, the chocolate would have made this cookie gooey and melty. The hard candy shell still gave the cookie an interesting texture however.