Self-proclaimed chocoholic, sugar junkie and carb queen
Monday, December 9, 2013
Peppermint & Dark Chocolate Ganache Cookies
If you love the combination of dark chocolate and peppermint around the holiday season (I know I sure do), then these cookies are going to make your day. They stemmed from a friend I work with asking me to bake something with a real mint chocolate punch. I puttered around the net for a while, trying to find something that looked just right, when I found a recipe that looked promising on Cooking Classy.
Now, while this recipe is based on another, I did make a few
tweaks of my own to it. One of which was that I felt the cookies needed a bit more
of a minty punch, so I upped the extract content. Working offshore presents its
own little roadblocks in terms of what ingredients I have on hand to play with,
and in this case it worked out well. Instead of a melted mint chocolate to form
the tasty chocolate middle on each cookie, I decided to make a simple little
batch of chocolate ganache.
This also let me bump up my dark chocolate peppermint
flavor, by making that ganache really minty. This way when your teeth sink
through the firm, just-set ganache middle and down through the crisp cookie,
you get a real surge of mint chocolate goodness dancing around your mouth.
Around this time of year you probably want to make your
cookies look festive, because the holiday season just has that effect on
people. Right now I find myself looking at my cookie fridge at work and
frowning, thinking “Not enough red and green…” which can be a bit of a problem
sometimes! Baking enough cookies to feed 150 dessert-gobbling fiends every day
is time consuming and sometimes I just don’t have the time to get fancy with my
decorating. You probably get that at home too. Between work and all the social
gatherings this time of year, it’s hard to find the time (and patience) to
decorate every little snowman sugar cookie perfectly. Lucky for you, these
cookies just require a few drops of coloured white chocolate and poof! Instant
Peppermint & dark chocolate ganache cookies
Prep time: 30 min.
Bake time: 8-10 min.
Yield: Around 4 dozen
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 & ½ cups packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt
2 cups dark chocolate chips*
2 & ¼ cups + 2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
1 & ½ tsp. peppermint extract
½ tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz. (170 g) chopped good-quality dark chocolate**
¾ cup cream
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp. Peppermint extract
1 & ½ tsp. butter, unsalted
White chocolate drops
6 oz. (170 g) chopped white chocolate
2-3 drops red food colouring
1-2 drops green food colouring
1. Preheat your oven to 350. In a medium, heavy-bottomed
saucepan, combine your butter, brown sugar, water and salt. Place this over
medium heat and let the butter melt, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from
the heat and stir in your chocolate until melted and smooth. Let your mixture
cool for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, while your chocolate mixture cools combine your
flour, cocoa and baking soda in a separate bowl. Mix them together with your
hands, then set it aside for a moment. Pour your chocolate mixture into the
bowl of your stand mixer and turn it on low with the paddle attachment. Blend
in one egg at a time. Be sure that each egg has just been incorporated in
before adding the next. Add extracts in with your eggs. Scrape down the sides
and bottom of your bowl and give a little mix just to make sure those bits get
3. With your mixer on low, slowly add your dry ingredients and
mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of your bowl to get any flour left
around the edges, and mix just till it’s been incorporated.
* Optional: If your dough looks too soft here, you can pull a
little plastic wrap over it and pop it into the fridge for 15 min. to firm up a
bit. Be careful though! If you leave it in for too long it will go very firm
because of all the chocolate in it and will be a big hassle to portion! (I
learned this the hard way.) If this happens, just let your dough sit out at
room temperature until it’s more manageable.
4. Portion the dough out by rounded tablespoons (or use a
wilton 40 scoop, like me) and roll into a ball before placing them 2” apart on
your parchment-lined baking sheet. Using the bottom of a glass or the palm of
your hand, gently press down on each cookie until it forms a ¼” round disk. Bake
for 8-10 minutes, or until they have pretty little crinkle crack lines and if
you look close at the edges, have started to brown. Let your cookies cool for 2 minutes
on the sheet pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. For the chocolate ganache: In a small, heavy bottom
saucepan, scald your cream & pinch of salt then pour it over the chopped chocolate.
Let it sit for 4-5 minutes, then gently whisk. It’ll look like it won’t want to
combine at first, but whisk-whisk-whisk and it’ll turn into a lovely ganache.
Whisk in peppermint extract. Pop in the little piece of butter and whisk till
melted for a glossier shine.
6. White chocolate drops: In a double boiler, or a bowl set
over simmering water, melt your chocolate. Once it’s melted, pour 1/3 into one
separate bowl, and 1/3 into another, saving the last 1/3. Colour one bowl red,
and one green. Transfer each colour (white, red and green) to small piping bags
(or to ziplock bags and snip the tips for easy home-made, disposable piping
7. Assembly: Once your cookies have cooled, use a small palette
knife or teaspoon to spread 1-2 tsp. chocolate ganache in the middle of each
cookie. Pipe tiny drops of white chocolate over the tops. Let the cookies sit
until the chocolate is set, or chill in the fridge till set. Store in an
airtight container for 5-7 days.