Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies with Candy Cane Filling

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Call me crazy, because I totally am. I am the weirdo that is still holding onto candy canes from over a month ago when February is just hours away. Maybe most people have thrown the seasonal winter treats out of the way, but I could not resist this recipe. Plus, February brings Valentine's Day, and these cookies have a pale pink filling. That justifies making these, right? Since they're pink?

Also, I kept thinking about this recipe because they reminded me of Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's. Then, I made them, and this recipe definitely produces a homemade version of candy cane joe joe's. One difference, though, is that the chocolate cookie part is not quite as crisp. The cookies are softer, and have a slight brownie texture to them. They are wonderful.

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We'll start by making the cookie part.

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Since the dough has to chill for about an hour, you can use this time to make the candy cane filling.

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In total, I used three candy canes, but I think I'll use four next time because I like the candy cane crunchy bits in the filling.

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After you crush all three (four), measure a scant 1/4 cup of the bits. Along with half and half, this will be the cream for your frosting that you will beat into some other ingredients.

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You'll end up with a pretty, pale, pink frosting.

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Back to the cookies!

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I ended up dividing the dough in half and rolling it out in two pieces. Then, I rerolled the scraps because we want to end up with the maximum number of cookies from this recipe.

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Once they bake for about 5 minutes, allow them to cool completely.

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Then, pipe every other cookie with your amazing filling.

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Place the other half of the cookie pair on top of the frosting, and enjoy!

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Make these any time of the year when you are missing candy cane joe joe's.

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Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies with Candy Cane Filling
very slightly adapted from Butter me up, Brooklyn
makes about 24 sandwich cookies

Ingredients:
for the cookies:
1 1/4 cups (156 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (35 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

for the filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (200 grams) powdered sugar, plus more if needed
3 medium candy canes, finely crushed.
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract 

Directions:
To make the cookies, in a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or, by hand), cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and extracts until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until combined.
Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for an hour, or freeze for 30 minutes, up to several days.
When the cookies are ready to be baked, preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
Roll out the refrigerated dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. Stamp out cookies with a cutter and place on the prepared baking sheets. Reroll the scraps and stamp again. Bake 5-6 minutes. Allow to cool for about a minute on the sheets before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, beat together the butter and 1 cup of the powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Set side.
Finely crush the candy canes. You do not want any pieces to be large enough to clog your pastry bag later on when filling the cookies. Measure a scant 1/4 cup of the crushed candy canes and reserve the remaining crushed candy canes.
Place the scant 1/4 cup of crushed candy canes and the half and half over low heat in a small saucepan. Whisking constantly, heat until the crushed candy canes melt. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Once the candy cane bits have melted, remove from heat.
Slowly pour the candy cane cream into the mixer bowl with the butter and powdered mixture on low speed. Beat until incorporated. Add the peppermint extract and remaining cup of powdered sugar and beat until smooth, thick and spreadable. Add more powdered sugar as needed to achieve this consistency. Then, fold in the remaining crushed candy cane bits.
To assemble the cookies, place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip. Pipe a small dollop of frosting on the bottom side of half of the cookies. Place the other half of cookies on top and gently squeeze together. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. 

8 comments:

  1. These are sooo pretty! I bet they taste awesome :)

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  2. Yummy yummy! So I foolishly over the Christmas holiday bought a HUGE 2oz jar of peppermint extract that I think I will wind up having for the rest of my life. I'm looking for any excuse to use it! I'll have to try these delicious looking cookies!! =)

    Ergo - Blog

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  3. haha! i love peppermint and chocolate together, and these cookies were the perfect example!

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  4. I tried one, two, three, then four of these. They are great, especially the filling!

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  5. I didn't even buy candy canes this year! I usually go overboard!

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  6. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)February 1, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    I'm ok with your crazy because it brings these amazing cookies into my life! Yum!

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  7. these look amazing!! I've never tried the Trader Joe's version, but your's looks and sounds better. You had me at "The cookies are softer....slight brownie texture..". Definitely have to bookmark this. Love your blog!! New follower here :)

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