December 21, 2011

Peppermint Twist Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are the quintessential cookie everyone bakes during the holidays. They tend to be a favorite since you can pull out those festive cookie cutters and decorate them in so many different ways. While I knew I wanted to add a typical sugar cookie to my cookie box, I was sure I didn't want to spend my entire weekend decorating cookies either.

Enter: Peppermint Crunch, crushed candy cane pieces that I found while shopping at Crate and Barrel. If you can't find the pre-crushed kind, you can easily buy some candy canes and crush them yourselves.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
4-6 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup crushed candy canes

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until it is smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until it is fluffy.

Gradually add the flour mixture until fully incorporated and the dough is stiff. Shape into a disk and cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into 2 or 4 equal parts. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4" thick. Cut into desired shape and transfer to a wax or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, making sure to rotate the sheet 1/2 way through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

As your first batch of cookies is baking you can melt the chocolate over a double boiler, and set aside until all cookies are baked and cooled. To decorate, simply dip half the cookie into the chocolate. Remove excess chocolate, then sprinkle with the crushed candy canes. Place the decorated cookies over parchment lined sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate has set.

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