Monday, December 12, 2011

Peppermint Kisses- 12 Days of Cookies Day 5

Day 5 of 12 Days of Cookies: Peppermint Kisses. These are a twist in the peanut blossoms that are so common on cookie trays this time of year. This summer, when my husband and I traveled to Michigan for a family reunion, we stopped in the town of Frankenmuth. In addition to housing the world’s largest Christmas store (it was HUGE!) it is known for Zehnder’s Restaurant. I picked up the dessert cookbook when I was there. It includes lots of cookie recipes, including 6 recipes for Lebkuchen. I’m not sure I’ll have time this Christmas to try all of those, but this recipe for peppermint kisses was immediately placed on my Christmas baking list.

The recipe in the cookbook calls for regular milk chocolate Kisses, but I knew they made peppermint ones so why not use those? I’d been looking for them in the store, and sure enough, I found them in stock the day after Halloween. I grabbed a bag and set them aside for these cookies. I’m also lazy and bought pre-crushed candy canes. You can find those at coffee shops and kitchen stores this time of year.

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, since I had made peanut blossoms before and had an idea about what would and wouldn’t work. The recipe has you dip the cookies in egg white and then roll them in sugar. I did this with about 6 cookies and they were pretty messy when they came out of the oven. So I just left out the egg white and the sugar adhered with no problem. It also had you press the Kisses into the cookies before baking, and I did this with one cookie just to see what would happen. Out came a browned Hershey’s Kiss, which didn’t look that appetizing. With the changes, these look great and are perfect little bites of holiday cheer.

¾ cup butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
½ cup crushed candy canes
½ cup sugar
Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and ¼ cup sugar until light. Stir in the vanilla and the egg. With the mixer on low, slowly stir in the flour. Stir in the crushed peppermint candy.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the ½ cup sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until barely browned and set.

Once the cookies are removed from the oven, immediately press a Candy Cane Kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely.

Adapted from From Grandma with Love by John Zahnder

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