Friday, December 4, 2015

Peppermint Mocha Blossom Cookies

I have a friend at work who absolutely loves Candy Cane Kisses. She can’t wait for them to show up in the stores each year at Christmas. So I keep my eyes open for cookies that use these kisses. Last year, I made a cookie that used melted Candy Cane Kisses as the frosting, and those were a big hit. I saw these on Peabody’s blog and figured they were a must to make for this year’s Christmas cookies.

This type of cookie is a classic, I think it was actually a Pillsbury Bake-Off cookie originally, but it’s now become a favorite during the holidays. It’s not a cookie that my family made during Christmas; frosted sugar cookies were my Dad’s classic cookie. Dad was the sweet maker in the family then and that’s true now. He makes fudge and truffles now, lots and lots of different types, and he makes the best stuff! So good that he’s found a good hobby in his retirement!

These cookies aren’t too challenging, and mine just came out of the oven picture perfect. I didn’t change anything in the original recipe, but I did use instant espresso powder rather than instant coffee. The espresso powder is a lot more intense, so 1 teaspoon is plenty! I got these down to quite a system, get one batch in the oven, unwrap the Kisses, then start shaping the next batch. Do be careful while these are cooling: the Kisses get pretty soft when you press them on the cookies. They harden back up while they cool, but I knocked one or two and they Kiss turned into a little puddle of melted Kiss!

Peppermint Mocha Blossom Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Additional sugar
4 dozen Candy Cane Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and espresso powder on medium until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then stir in the vanilla and peppermint extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until the dough comes together.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar.
Bake for 9-10 minutes, until set. Allow to cool for 3 minutes before pressing a Candy Cane Kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool completely on a wire rack.

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