Chocolate and mint are one of my favorite flavor combinations, and even more so around Christmas time. These cookies are perfect for the holiday – the filling is light and minty which balances out to rich dark chocolate of the cookies. They are actually very similar in taste to Oreos. I brought these along to a Christmas party and they were a hit! I think these cookies will make their way onto the table every Christmas from now on.
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Yields: 12 large cookie sandwiches
For the Cookies:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
15 Tablespoons (7 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, at room temperature
For the Filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Crushed candy canes (about 15 small canes)
For the Cookies:
Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed. With the mixer running, add the butter a few pieces at a time. The mixture will have a sandy texture at first and then will begin to form peddle-size pieces. As soon as the dough starts to come together, stop the mixer. Make sure all the butter is well incorporated. If there are large butter pockets, mix for a few seconds more. Form and roll the dough straight from the mixer. The dough becomes hard to work with if chilled.
Transfer the dough to a board and use the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper to shape the dough into a block about 5 by 7 inches. Cut the block into two pieces. One at a time, roll each block of dough between two pieces of lightly floured parchment paper until about 1/8-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut into 2 inch rounds. Place 1/2 to 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking. Remove from the oven and cool on the sheets for 2 to 5 minutes. They’ll be too soft to move straight from the oven. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
For the Filling:
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the finely chopped white chocolate and peppermint extract. Make sure all the chocolate is covered by the cream. Let stand for 1 minute (this is important), then whisk the white chocolate until completely melted.
Transfer the filling to a small bowl and let stand until room temperature. You’ll need the filling thicker to assemble the cookies, so cover the filling and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or an hour, until a thick consistency is reached. If the filling hardens too much, it can be rewarmed in the microwave for a few seconds. It’s best if left at room temperature until the proper consistency is achieved.
To Assemble the Cookies:
Place half of the cookies upside down on a work surface. Whip the filling lightly with a whisk to loosen it. It will lighten in color and fluff up. Don’t overwhip or the filling may begin to separate.
Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. You can just scoop the filling out by the half teaspoonful. Pipe or dollop one teaspoon of filling in the center of each upside down cookie. Gently, using your fingers, press the cookies together until the filling comes just to the edges. Roll the edges in crushed candy canes.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker