But that somewhere is so not here in Kentucky. We have, thus far, been having an annoyingly mild holiday season. Thanksgiving day it was close to 60 degrees. Today, as I baked Christmas cookies, it got up OVER 60. Tomorrow, which according to my calendar is supposed to be December 3rd, is supposed to be almost 70 degrees. W…T….H…??? At this rate, Santa is going to be coming here by surf board. Ok, I live in a landlocked state… maybe convertible would be better. Whatever. You get my point. It’s too darn warm for December! I want snow! I want a reason to light a fire! I want to have a reason to complain about being cold!
You all have my permission to remind me of this post when I’m whining about being cold, by the way.
Anyway, I’ve started my yearly Christmas cookie baking. Ever since my now grown and married kids were little, that has meant that I make approximately 352 dozen cookies. The kids aren’t allowed any until Christmas day (well, Christmas eve nowadays) whereupon we all eat cookies until we are ill and then I spend the next week or so foisting them off on unsuspecting strangers. “Hi… I don’t know you and I’m sorry to interrupt you while the paramedics are wheeling you into the ER gushing blood from several arteries but here… have 3 dozen gingersnaps. You’ll love them after you recover from surgery!”
I remember the year I was working about 70 hours a week as an assistant banquet manager for a hotel. Baking became an….interesting…proposition. I had one day off before Christmas. I used that day and made FIFTEEN different types of cookies so as to not disappoint my kids. Yes, yes I AM insane… why do you ask?
Ahhhh, good times… good times. Or something like that.
Today I made my version of Peppermint Bark in a cookie. I swear… I love that stuff. So putting the flavors in a cookie was a natural extension. I know I could have bought those pre crushed bags of the Ghirardelli’s peppermint bark but what would be the fun in THAT? Twas much more interesting to use all the separate components and do it that way. PLUS, the added bonus is that you get far more chocolate in it my way.
So go buy the ingredients. Unless of course you’re like me and always have somewhere in the vicinity of 1200 bags of different baking chips in the house at any given time. Then go hunt through them and get what you need. These are a little bit chewy, a little bit rock and roll. Sorry; I was channeling Donny Osmond. These are a bit chewy, a bit gooey from the chocolate and then you have those awesome crispy bites when you get some of the crushed candy canes. Bottom line? These are oh so yummy!
One thing? Line your cookie sheets with a silicone mat. Trust me. The candy leaks and prying melted candy cane off a cookie sheet is a pain in the arse. This makes a large batch of cookies. The dough freezes well so you could make your dough now and then freeze it, thaw it, pop it into the oven a bit closer to Christmas.
Peppermint Bark Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 small (3.4 ounces) boxes instant vanilla pudding mix (I actually used one French vanilla and one cheesecake flavored)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1 bag dark chocolate chips
- 1 bag white chocolate chips
- 16 regular sized candy canes, crushed (the kind that come in boxes of 12) (also, crush in a bag. Using the food processor causes them to get just hot enough to get sticky and lump up)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie sheet(s) with a silicone mat.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Cream until light and fluffy(ish)
- Beat in the pudding mixes, then the eggs, vanilla and peppermint extract.
- Using a wooden spoon, mix in the flour mixture.
- Pour in the chocolate chips, white chips and crushed candy canes. Mix well. Cuss me out cause your arms are getting really tired about now.
- Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls onto the prepared sheet(s).
- Bake for about 12 minutes or until they are a light golden brown. If you prefer your cookies crispier, give them about another minute or 2 in the oven.
- Let cool on a wire rack, then eat them until you feel ill. Thank me later.