Christmas Cookie Winner! Double Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies

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This recipe is so easy, and so fun to make. I saw a similar recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, and my daughter, Leigh, begged me to make some. She made the orignal recipe all by herself, and we were all impressed. Since, as a Recipe Developer, I get paid to create recipes for a living, I decided I would try to rival her with this variation. Try them for yourself and let me know what you think. 

 

Super-Duper Chocolate Peppermint Kisses

Prep: 20 minutes

Bake: 8 minutes

Yield: 20 cookies

Ingredients

1 (161/2-ounce) package chocolate chip cookie dough

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup chocolate-flavored sprinkles

20 peppermint chocolate kisses, unwrapped (chocolate kisses may be substituted)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine cookie dough and cocoa powder. Seal bag; knead with your hands until dough is well mixed. Remove dough from bag.

2. Place chocolate sprinkles in a shallow dish or small bowl. Place milk in a shallow dish or small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, Dip balls in milk to moisten, then roll balls in chcolate sprinkles to coat. Place balls 2-inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.

3. Bake in a preheated oven about 8 minutes or until edges are firm. Immediately press a peppermint kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. 

To store: Place cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Homemade Holiday Gifts-White and Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

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Every year, peppermint bark is a holiday hit! My friend and neighbor, Kathy, said she was searching for a wonderful peppermint bark recipe, and since one of my favorite parts of being a Food Consultant for magazines and Food companies is recipe development, I made it my mission to help Kathy out. This recipe is simple to prepare and tastes great. I crushed my candy canes in the food processor to save time and went a little overboard, so I ended up with peppermint snow (as my kids called it-and that’s just how they liked it, by the way). Feel free to chop them more or less, depending how you like it. I used Nestle white and semisweet morsels, but I recommend using a quality chocolate such as ghiradelli (you can also use dark chocolate, if you prefer). Be sure to refrigerate the bark and keep it stored in the refrigerator for optimal results. It will keep for up to 1 month.


Peppermint Bark

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 4 minutes

Yield: 2 pounds

Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package candy cane

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet morsels or baking dark chocolate

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Cooking spray

1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate morsels or baking white chocolate

Preparation

1. Place candy canes in a food processor and process until crushed or in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.

2. Melt semisweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH until melted, stirring once. Add peppermint extract, stirring well. Spread evenly on a large 12-x 16-inch baking sheet covered with parchment paper; spray with cooking spray. Place chocolate mixture in refrigerator for up to one hour to set.

3. Melt white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH until melted, stirring once. Spread over semisweet chocolate and top evenly with crushed candy canes. Refrigerate 1 more hour or until set. Break into pieces and give as gifts.