When these cookies are in the oven, your house will smell fabulous. Their minty goodness comes not from crushed candy canes but from peppermint oil, which is available at kitchen specialty stores such as La Cuisine in Alexandria.
Make Ahead: The dough must be refrigerated for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. The baked cookies can be refrigerated between layers of wax paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week. The undecorated cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Servings: 42 cookies
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon peppermint oil (do not use peppermint extract), plus 5 to 7 drops for the drizzled chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add the 3/4 teaspoon of peppermint oil and the vanilla extract, then add the sugar in 3 additions, making sure each addition is well incorporated. Add the egg and mix well. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture; beat just until blended. (The dough will be sticky.)
Divide the dough in half and place each portion on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Use the wrap to help roll and form each portion into about an 8-inch log with a 2-inch diameter. Wrap tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Unwrap the chilled logs; roll them briefly on the work surface to make sure they are smooth and round. Use a thin, sharp knife to cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place the rounds of dough on the baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about-- minutes, until the cookie tops and edges are dry to the touch. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack; let the cookies cool completely. Repeat as necessary to use all the dough.
Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until melted and smooth; repeat as needed to make sure the chocolate is thoroughly melted. Add the remaining 5 to 7 drops of the peppermint oil, stirring to mix well. Taste and adjust the flavoring as needed. Cool the minted chocolate for about 10 minutes, until it is slightly thickened but still pourable.
To decorate, dip a fork into the chocolate and use it to drizzle over the cookies (still on the baking sheets) in a zigzag pattern. (Alternatively, chill the minted chocolate for 10 to 20 minutes, until it is the right consistency for piping from a food-safe plastic storage bag (cut a tip off one of the bottom corners).
Refrigerate the cookies on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes, until the chocolate is set, before serving or storing.
Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine (January 2002).
Tested by Leigh Lambert.
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