Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Every year, three or four mom’s and our kidlets congregate in one of our small kitchens and completely sugar up our kids with Christmas cookies.  Mountains of frosting and sprinkles are usually constructed on top of the unrecognizable sugar cookies as they decorate with an unrestrained hand.  The floors are wooden and everything wipes down in the end.  This year, the girls asked if they could have a food fight with the leftover frosting.  Hmm.  Definitely not in the house.  Too cold to go outside.  Don’t want to have to wash the coats anyway.  Hmm… “What if we get our bathing suits on and do it in the tub, Mama?  Please?”  SURE.  Good idea.  And one I got to say “yes” to in the sea of what sometimes seems continual “no.”  The giggles are to be treasured for a lifetime.

The standby chocolate peanut balls and the sugar cookies usually have a recipe or two that make an audition, but don’t last for more than a year.  Not so with this recipe taken straight from Bon Appetit December 2005.  Good job guys.  These are like the best Oreo’s a person could imagine – on steroids.  Love them.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Cookies:
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetend Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg

Filling:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 drops (or more) green food coloring

1/2 cup crushed red- and white-stripped cady canes or hard peppermint candies (about 4 ounces)

Cookies:
Whisk flour, cocoa and salt in medium bowl to blend.  Using mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended.  Beat in egg.  Add dry ingredients:  beat until blended.  Refrigerate dough 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop out dough by level tablespoonfuls, then roll into smooth balls.  Place balls on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.  Using bottom of glass or hands, flatten each ball to 2-inch round (edges will crack).  Bake until cookies no longer look wet and small indentation appears when tops of cookies are lightly touched with fingers, about 11 minutes (do not over bake or cookies will become too crisp).  Cool on sheet 5 minutes.  Transfer chocolate cookies to racks and cool completely.

Filling:
Using mixer, beat powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl until well blended.  Add peppermint extract and 2 drops food coloring.  Beat until light pink and well blended, adding more food coloring by dropfuls if darker pink color is desired.  Spread 2 generous teaspoons filling evenly over flat side of 1 cookie to edges, top with another cookie, flat side down, pressing gently to adhere.  Repeat with remaining cookies and peppermint filling.

Place crushed candy canes on plate.  Roll edges of cookie sandwiches in crushed candies (candies will adhere to filling).  Store in singe layer in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 18 sandwich cookies

Annie
Heaven to bake and then eat these cookies!

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