Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

It`s that time of year again! It`s the day everyone around the world reveals their cookies from the annual Great Blogger Cookie Swap! This year is the 2nd time I participated and I will continue doing so. It`s so much fun trying to thinking of a good cookie recipe for this exchange. Not to mention, the excitement of getting 3 separate packages, with a dozen cookies in each, in the mail!

I already love getting packages in the mail because it feels like I`m opening a gift, even though I`m the one who ordered it...LOL. But, these cookies are always a surprise since you have NO idea who sent them, from where, or what type of cookie is inside.

 If you`ve never heard of the swap before and what to receive updates on them for next year, you totally can! Just go HERE to sign up!! :) Trust me, you`ll LOVE it!

For the swap last year, I made my very own cookie recipe to send. The cookies had a secret ingredient inside to make them stay soft inside, while crunchy on the outside. I wanted to bounce off that idea to develop another recipe and came up with these peppermint hot chocolate chip cookies!

This year I received WONDERFUL cookies from Clarks Condensed, French Press, and I Love My Disorganized Life!

I don`t want to sound conceited or anything, but these are some of my favorite cookies. I brought them to work and everyone loved them!! No joke! One of them told me they reminded her of Girl Scouts' Thin Mints. THIN MINTS!! Which is, like, obviously, one of THE most delicious cookie in the world (at least for me and I`m sure a million others).

Anyways, I wanted to make the cookies with a holiday flare, so I thought, peppermint and hot chocolate. Thus, these cookies were born. :) Oh, and the secret ingredient? Cream cheese. Yup. Last year, I added cream cheese inside my Chocolate Chip Oreo Cream Cookies and discovered the beauty cream cheese has in cookies. The edges of the cookies are crunchy, but the middle stays soft and chewy for DAYS! This makes them a perfect cookie to mail, since it will take a few days for the people to receive them.

I used Andes peppermint crunch chips, but Andes mint chips will also work (trust me, I tried it!). I decided on a chocolate cookie base to contrast the mini marshmallows and peppermint chips. The white chocolate glaze make them very festive, too! :)

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hearts In My Oven Original | Yields: ~18 cookies | Level: Easy | Total Time: 50 minutes | Print
§  8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
§  1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
§  1/3 cup baking cocoa
§  2 hot cocoa packets
§  ½ teaspoon baking soda
§  ½ teaspoon kosher salt
§  ½  cup granulated sugar
§  ½  cup brown sugar
§  1 large egg
§  ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
§  ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
§  2 oz cream cheese, softened
§  1/3 cup jet puff mini marshmallows
§  1/3 cup Andes Peppermint chips
§  1/3 cup white chocolate chips or
§  peppermint chocolate, melted
Materials Needed:
-          baking sheet(s)
-          baking mat/parchment paper
-          1 small saucepan
-          2 small bowl
-          1 large bowl
-          1 medium bowl
-          2 whisks
-          1 rubber spatula
-          1 cutting board
-          1 knife
-          1 cooling rack

1.       Preheat oven 350°F. Line baking sheet with baking mat or parchment paper.
2.        In a small saucepan, brown your butter: Over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisking frequently, let the butter turn into an amber color. It will foam a little. Once it subsides and brown specks appears at the bottom of the pan, it will begin to have a nutty aroma. Once butter turns a light golden brown color, transfer to a bowl to cool. (I stick it in the freezer to make it cool faster.)
3.       In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking cocoa, hot chocolate, baking soda, and salt.
4.       In a bowl with electric mixer attachment, mix the brown butter with sugars.
5.       Add egg, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
6.       Add the dry ingredients (flour, etc) into wet ingredients (butter, etc).
7.       Mix the cream cheese into dough.
8.       Fold in mallow bites and peppermint chips.
9.       Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet, about 2 minutes apart each.
10.   Bake for 10-12 minutes.
11.   Let cookies cool slightly on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on cooling rack.
12.   In a small bowl, melt white chocolate chips in microwave in 30-15 second intervals.
13.   Dip cooled cookies into melted white chocolate.
14.   Add sprinkles!
15.   Let chocolate harden on parchment paper

-          cookies will be really soft fresh from the oven, but will hold up later.