I am a firm believer in leaving the Fall décor until the day after Thanksgiving, but on that day we were six hours away from home. It was worth it though, as we had a wonderful time visiting my in-laws and spending time with our daughter in her college town.
But, now we are “that” house on the block with no lights up yet, or no Christmas tree in the window. Fortunately, my recipe for today is definitely a holiday one and has me in the mood to decorate. Since it is now December 3, I must get a move on. But, first the cookies!
I’m invited to a cookie exchange this weekend. I really wanted to do something festive that I haven’t done before. I definitely have some great cookie recipes that are always a go-to, but decided it was time to try something new. I had a “friendsgiving” get together at my house recently so in preparation for the exchange, I made my friends my guinea pigs.
I picked this cookie mainly because of its holiday ingredients and appearance. It calls for candy cane “dust.” Doesn’t that just bring visions of Santa’s elves hard at work in the North Pole’s bakery?
I also chose these because my son is very much a fan of chocolate, minty-type things. This recipe for Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Candy Cane Buttercream fit the bill. It is definitely minty, and is a very pretty and festive cookie. My photo here really does not do it justice. Its appearance just screams “holiday”. Crushed candy canes give the buttercream frosting that is sandwiched between to chocolate cookies a pink color, with little flecks of red running through.
Again, this recipe came courtesy of another blogger, who I think found it from another. You can find the post I got it from HERE.
This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.
Chocolate Fudge Cookies
1 cup + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute. Stir. Continue to melt in 30 second increments until fully melted and smooth. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
With an electric or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Beat in the sugars, scraping down the sides every 10 seconds or so. The mixture will be granular.
Mix in the beaten egg and vanilla until incorporated.
Add the chocolate in a steady stream and beat until combined.
Add the dry ingredients on slow speed.
Fold in the mini chocolate chips. Do not overmix.
Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
Scoop about 1 Tbsp of dough and roll into a slightly flattened ball.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies have just begun to set with the centers still appearing very soft. They will firm up as they cool.
Candy Cane Buttercream
3/4 cup (1.5) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2.5 – 3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk (I prefer heavy cream in frostings)
1/2 cup candy cane dust (about 8-10 candy canes ground to a fine dust in a food processor)
Crushed candy canes for rolling, optional (I did not do this)
Beat the butter for 1 minute with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
Add 2.5 cups of sifted powdered sugar and slowly mix on low speed.
Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 1 Tablespoon of cream/milk. Beat for about 1 minute.
Manually stir in candy cane dust.
If your buttercream needs to be thicker, add more powdered sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk/cream.
Frost the bottom end of a cooled cookie and top with another to make a sandwich.
- I premeasured everything before I began preparing the cookies. I know this makes more mess to clean up, but baking is so much quicker and easier when I do this. I don’t mind washing a few more prep bowls and measuring cups.
- The original recipe I used called for sifting the ground candy canes before putting them in the butter cream. I did not do this and it was fine. If you pulverize it enough I don’t feel there is a need for the sifting.
- This is a really, really sweet cookie. Almost too sweet for my taste. I do recommend using the dash of salt in the buttercream to cut some of the sweetness.
- I did not prepare extra crushed candy canes to “roll” the cookie sandwich in. I think for the exchange I will roughly crush candy canes of a different color, maybe green.
- I would recommend using a stand mixer with paddle attachment for the cookie dough if you have one. (My Kitchen Aid Professional stand mixer is my pride and joy.) It could certainly be done with a hand mixer, but the dough is really thick and is handled much easier with a stand mixer.
All in all, this batch of cookies was a success and I think they will work quite well for the cookie exchange. As I mentioned above, it is a very sweet cookie. Although they are good, one cookie is almost too much for my taste because of the sweetness. I may try making smaller cookies for the exchange.
Hopefully by Friday, I will have some handmade tags for the cookie “packages” to share with you.
Until next time, enjoy….
Next Week: Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing