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!
Evening folks! Would you believe it is just 10 days until Christmas? Boy doesn’t time fly when you are having fun / busy with Christmas shopping, work and trying to get your boiler fixed… It really is a busy time of year and the last thing I need to be worrying about is when I will get time to do all of my Christmas makes and bakes. Luckily some of my recipes require time to mature – like my traditional Christmas Cake and my Cranberry Infused Gin. Some on the other hand are quick and incredibly simple meaning they can be put together at last minute. These Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Stars fall into that category!
The sugar cookie is an American classic for a reason. The relatively few ingredients required to make them and the speed with which they can be made, baked and decorated means that they are loved by cooks everywhere. Once I’d mastered the plain old vanilla sugar cookie I knew I had to conquer the chocolate sugar cookie. These Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Stars are a variation on the chocolatey classic.
I made these most recently the night before we travelled up to Nottingham to see my sister and her partner for a Christmas meal. Like most people these days, our family has grown apart geographically and my sister now lives over 125 miles away in Arnold, Nottingham. I had originally offered to make the dessert for the meal. I was planning a Christmas themed profiterole extravaganza but as we got closer to the day I knew I wasn’t going to be able to follow through. Work got on top of me, as did Christmas shopping and bits and bobs around the house. We currently have no gas which makes anything involving our hob, dishwasher or just being warm pretty much impossible.
I regrettably told her I couldn’t bring the pud, but decided instead I would surprise her with some after dinner cookies. Dainty morsels of dark chocolate and peppermint cookie that could easily be devoured with just one bit (or two if you were trying to not look so greedy…)
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 (more on that another day…) Once they had baked and cooled I simply drizzled them with chocolate and let it set before transferring to a biscuit tin. They might not have been a rich and decadent dessert but at least I could offer something up to the table at the end of the meal.
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!
Yield: 25 medium cookies or 50 small cookies.
- 450g unsalted butter
- 400g of caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 drops peppermint essence
- 560g of plain flour
- 190g cocoa powder
- 50g milk chocolate
- 50g white chocolate
- Cream together the butter and the sugar, by hand, in a large bowl until just incorporated. (Avoid over mixing at this stage as this can cause spreading.)
- 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.
There are a couple of key things to remember when baking sugar cookies. Don’t overmix, make 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 and no one wants that! 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! If you’re lucky enough to have spare time why not pick up your book…
When I shared these cookies with my sister and our family at the weekend they went down a treat. I like to make my cookies quite small so that they are almost bite sized but a couple of us couldn’t help ourselves and took bite after bite after bite… 50 cookies might sound like a lot but they disappear in no time!
So there we have it – a quick and easy cookie recipe that anyone can make! No matter how busy you are there is no excuse not to join in that Christmas cookie swap. Merry Christmas!