If you love peppermint patties, you will swoon over these holiday confections! With a crunchy cookie bottom, a thick layer of soft, creamy peppermint candy, and a firm, snappy coating of chocolate, the combination of textures is every bit as appealing as the flavors. Family and friends will take one bite and beg you to make more; I’ll bet they’ll be the first treats to disappear from your cookie platter.
There’s really nothing hard about making them, but they are a bit of a project. If you have young ones around, I know they’d love to help cut out the shapes and put the cookies and filling layers together. And you don’t have to do it all at once; bake the cookies one day and leave the filling and dipping for another time. The cookies freeze well, so you could get that part out of the way weeks before, if you’re the efficient type.
Frankly, though I love anything and everything dipped in chocolate, I hate doing the dipping. If there were anyone else here I could stick with that job, I’d do it. I don’t usually fuss about getting messy. Up to my elbows in dough? Great! Splattered wtih icing? Sweeeeet! Food coloring under my nails? No problem. But chocolate on my hands? Eeeeuw. Wash wash wash wash.
Still, totally worth it!
Of course I can’t just make something the way I imagined it; I have to play with variations. So…after the recipe and instructions, I’ll show you a few different ideas I tried.
If the chocolate cookie recipe looks familiar, that’s because it’s my go-to recipe when I want crunch. The cookie itself isn’t too sweet, which is perfect, because the patty filling certainly is! It’s basically what everyone’s aunt uses to make wedding mints, right? Put them together and dip the two layers in chocolate, and it just works perfectly together.
I originally considered topping the mint layer with a firm ganache before dipping, but my daughter talked me down from that craziness. She was right—these don’t need more chocolate. (Did I just say that?)
|Peppermint Patty Cookies|| |
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus a little more, if necessary)
- ⅔ cups unsweetened cocoa
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- PEPPERMINT PATTY
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- ½ teaspoon clear vanilla (optional)
- 8½ -9 cups powdered sugar
- 18 ounces dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- Milk or white chocolate, or colored icing for decorating. Or just use sprinkles!
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Add the vanilla, milk, and egg, and beat well.
- Add the dry ingredients (slow down there, Tiger...the cocoa will fly everywhere! Beat it on low until it's incorporated) and mix together well. It should be very soft, but if it's too sticky to handle, add up to 3 tablespoons extra flour.
- For best results, roll out between two pieces of lightly floured parchment until it's about ¼" thick.
- Cut with a star shaped cookie cutter (mine was 2¾" wide) and place ½"-1" apart on ungreased bafking sheet. Bake for 12-13 minutes. The cookies should be fairly firm. If they're still soft, give them another minute or two. They'll harden a bit as they cool.
- Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add peppermint extract and vanilla, if using, and mix well.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar, using a sturdy stand mixer and dough hook, if possible. If mixing by hand, stir in as much powdered sugar as possible, then place any remaining sugar on work surface and put the dough on top of it. Knead by hand until smooth. Add additional powdered sugar if dough is too sticky to roll.
- Work with half of the dough at a time, keeping the reamaining half tightly wrapped in plastic. Roll out ¼-inch thick between sheets of parchment that have been dusted with powdered sugar.
- Cut with the same star cookie cutter you used for the cookies. Place one piece of peppermint dough on each cookie. Using a mini-roller or your hands, make sure the dough goes all the way to the edge of the cookie. Press gently around the edge to make it rounded and smooth all the way around.
- Chill for at least one hour.
- Melt chocolate and shortening in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring each time, or in a small pan on lowest heat, stirring frequently.
- Turn each cookie over and dip the peppermint side into the melted chocolate, making sure the chocolate completely covers the peppermint. You don't need to coat the bottom of the cookie.. Allow excess to drip off, and place (cookie side down) on waxed paper or parchment. Chill until chocolate is firm. (If you are using sprinkles, add them before the chocolate hardens)
- Or, once chocolate is firm, drizzle with a contrasting color, using milk or white chocolate or a colored icing.
- Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator.
The stars turned out so well, you’d think I would just leave well enough alone, huh? Pffft.
Here are some fun options:
- I made little mini stars…one bite (okay, or two, if you’re dainty) poppers, but I added crushed peppermint puffs to the peppermint dough.
- Wreaths look lovely too. Round cookie cutters – one large, one small, create a very nice wreath shape. I like to use the mint mixture with the crushed candy to give them a little texture.
- After adding the peppermint layer to the larger stars, Add a few drops of water to a small amount of peppermint dough and use it to pipe designs on the cookies. Chill and dip.
- I love using gold highlights on dark chocolate. You can order a small container online. Just mix the powder with a tiny bit of vodka and paint away!
The small stars highlighted with gold would make an elegant addition to each place setting at your holiday table, and would provide a refreshing finish to the meal.
Or hide them in an empty broccoli bag in your freezer and help yourself whenever you need a boost. ‘Tis the season to be sneaky!