Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Stars
Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Stars are a fun and tasty Christmas cookie that both kids and grown ups love. Find out how you can make a batch this Christmas!
Wherever in the world you go, there will be one thing in common with the local Christmas traditions – they will involve cookies! Europe in particular has a wide range of cookies that are baked almost exclusively during the run up to Christmas: gingerbread/lebkuchen, krumkake and pfeffernusse all spring to mind!
In the US and Canada, sugar cookies are cut into a wide range of different shapes and decorated in red white and green. When I last visited the Christmas markets in Germany I had a fantastic time buying intricate cookie cutters from their stalls so I could make beautiful Christmas cookie platters when I returned home.
From simple sugar cookies to dark chocolate stars
The American sugar cookie is a family favourite for a reason. They require relatively few ingredients which means they can be made, baked and decorated in no time at all. They are also perfect for baking with little ones. Once I’d mastered the plain old vanilla sugar cookie I knew I had to conquer the chocolate sugar cookie. The dough would be perfect for rolling out into intricate shapes but would have a hint of bitter chocolate to counteract their high sugar content.
These Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Stars are a variation on a simple sugar cookie recipe. I pulled together my trusty chocolate sugar cookie dough, spiked it with a couple of drops of peppermint oil and rolled out into 8 pointed stars using one of the cookie cutters I brought back with me from Germany.
You can of course cut these Christmas cookies into any shape you wish. But, I used a small star cutter so that they could be enjoyed with just one bite. This makes them the perfect after dinner treat alongside a cup of coffee.
Once they had baked and cooled I simply drizzled them with white chocolate and let it set before transferring to a biscuit tin. They will keep for up to a week (provided you don’t eat them sooner).
As well as being tasty and easy to make, my favourite thing about these cookies is that they cut out beautifully, and retain their shape while cooking. There’s no chance of spreading here!
Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Stars
- A cookie cutter of your choosing!
- Cream together the butter and the sugar, by hand, in a large bowl until just incorporated.
- Slowly add the eggs, again beating the mixture by hand.
- Add the peppermint and stir until the peppermint is throughout the mix.
- Add the flour and cocoa powder to the bowl and, using a spatula, begin to mix the wet and dry ingredients.
- As the ingredients come together, use your hands to work the ingredients into a dough.
- Place the dough in the fridge for at least an hour (or roll out until it is roughly 0.5cm thick and refrigerate for at least half an hour).
- Roll out the dough on a very lightly floured surface and cut out using a star cookie cutter.
- Place the cookies back into the fridge for at least another 10 minutes before baking in the centre of your oven for 8-12 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool completely before moving on to decoration.
- To decorate, melt the milk chocolate and poor into a small disposable icing bag.
- Cut a very small hole into the end of the piping bag and drizzle across the top of the cookies.
- Repeat the process with the white chocolate.
- Leave the chocolate to cool and set completely before eating.
Top tips for perfect sugar cookies
There are a couple of key things to remember when baking sugar cookies.
- Don’t overmix your dough or you will build the protein in the flour and they will become tough.
- Chilling the dough is also essential so don’t forget that. It doesn’t need too long – just long enough to put on a load of washing or deal with another chore you’ve been avoiding! This will prevent them from spreading out in the oven.
- Other tips for preventing spreading including making sure your oven is hot when the cookies go in and never use self raising flour or baking powder! Any one of these things can lead to spreading or puffed up cookies which don’t hold their shape.
More Christmas Baking Recipes
If you love this recipe then you’ll love these other festive treats.