Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies

Hot cocoa is a delightful treat to enjoy while reading a book, watching a movie or chatting with friends and family.  It’s my beverage of choice all winter long….well, almost all winter long.   I do enjoy an occasional glass of cherry port on a cold winter’s eve.  My husband thinks it tastes like cough syrup, but he also like pale ales, so I feel like his opinion is slightly biased in favor of something bitter and dry vs. sweet and saccharine.  Anywho…..back to the point of this post!

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies ~ Pearls + Girls

I love hot cocoa, so naturally, it makes sense that I would whip it into baking submission with a new cookie recipe!  Hot cocoa and marshmallows are an inherent duo, but a hint of peppermint really brightens up the chocolate flavor.  Who knew???  The texture of this cookie is like a brownie, my husband’s favorite dessert.  I almost always make him a peanut butter + chocolate dessert, so mixing it up with a little peppermint + chocolate for some holiday flair seemed appropriate!  The inspirational recipe is from Glorious Treats.  It’s my 8th recipe in my first blog series, 12 Days of Cookies.  Enjoy! 🙂

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies

Yield:  About 50 cookies

Ingredients

Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer the Ghirardelli brand)

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup unsweetened or Dutch processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

75 mini marshmallows

Icing

2 cups powdered sugar

4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup unsweetened or Dutch processed cocoa powder

1/4 cup hot water

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

4 candy canes, chopped

Directions

In a medium sauce pan or a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate, stirring frequently so the chocolate doesn’t burn.  Set aside to cool.  In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  With an electic mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat brown sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until combined.  Add cooled chocolate mixture, mix to combine.  Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  Scrap down dough with a spatula, then mix for a few more seconds.  Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a tablespoon or a medium sized cookie scoop, form balls of dough and place about 2 inches apart on a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet.  Flatten balls slightly with the palm of your hand.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and press three mini marshmallows in the center of each cookie.  Return to the oven and bake an additional 2 – 3 minutes.  Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wax paper lined cooling rack.

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies ~ Pearls + Girls

Combine all icing ingredients in a medium bowl, whisk until smooth.  Spoon a small amount of icing on each cookie allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with peppermint pieces.  Work quickly, or the frosting will dry before you add the topping.  Press lightly to adhere peppermint pieces to frosting.  Allow to set up for at least an hour before serving.  Store in an airtight container.