Friday, December 11, 2009

Peppermint Snowballs

I went to the bookstore the other day and ended up leaving with a new cookbook and a couple of holiday baking magazines. I just can’t say no! I picked up the Taste of Home magazine because they had a couple of cookies that were interesting variations of classic cookies. I’ve generally had good luck with recipes from this magazine, since they are usually reader recipes. Sometimes recipes developed in professional kitchens just don’t turn out.

This is a type of shortbread cookie, with a cream cheese peppermint filling. I thought they
sounded just right for this time of year. The cookie is as simple as can be, but I would substitute peppermint extract for the vanilla, since it needed more peppermint flavor. I refrigerated my dough for longer than an hour and it was really difficult to shape, so don’t refrigerate it too long. It was hard (and really messy) to fill the balls with the filling. Poking a hole in the dough made such a small hole, and then it was so hard to seal the filling in. Some I filled that way and some I halved the dough balls, added filling, and then tried to seal it all up. Neither worked all that well.

I ended up making snowballs with half of the dough and the other half I rolled into balls, flattened, and baked. I made little sandwich cookies with the left over filling, and that worked ok. If you decide to make sandwich cookies, flatten the dough balls so you don’t get too thick of
cookie. The elements of this cookie are good, but they don’t taste very pepperminty. I would add peppermint extract to the cookie dough and to the filling to get that strong peppermint taste! They do look fairly festive!

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon milk
3 tablespoons crushed peppermints

Additional powdered sugar, for rolling

In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and then stir in the flour. Knead dough by hand until it is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, combine all of the filling ingredients and stir until combined.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls. Poke a hole in the dough and fill with ¼ teaspoon filling. Seal in the filling with additional dough and reshape into balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until firm.

Recipe from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies and Bars

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