SMALL COOKIE SUNDAY: ST. PADDY’S DAY PEPPERMINT SANDWICH COOKIES
Sparkling with a bit of sugar glaze, and brightly flavored with peppermint and chocolate.
For perfect cookies, add the exact amount of green food coloring and peppermint flavoring. Roll the dough into 1” round balls, then cut the balls in half and roll again into smaller balls. With these portions, you will make sandwich cookies that are not too big – each one is two bites. Or if you are the type to savor, they would be three bites. These cookies began as a Betty Crocker recipe for drop cookies, with a small change that actually transforms them quite a bit into sandwich cookies filled with creamy chocolate ganache. Thanks to Betty’s basic recipe, we have a foundation that makes these cookies great.
You will need a shortbread press, or you can use the bottom of a water glass, preferably one with a pretty design.
- [b]FOR COOKIES:[/b]
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 16 drops green food color
- 2-1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- [b]FOR FILLING:[/b]
- Granulated white sugar, in a small dish
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- In an electric mixer, blend together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth, then add the egg yolks and food color. Mix until evenly blended. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder, then add to the butter mixture a cup at a time, beating gradually after each addition. Mix just until blended. Make into balls while the dough is at room temperature. If the dough is too cold, it won’t form balls, and if it’s too warm, the butter in the dough will begin to melt. Test at first, to make sure the dough is at a temperature that makes it easy to form into balls.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place the balls of dough on a cookie sheet about 1 – 1/2 inches apart, then press each one gently with the shortbread press or the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar. You may want to press each one twice to get them flat enough. They will spread just a little in the oven.
- Bake for 8 – 9 minutes, or until just barely beginning to turn brown on the bottom. Remove from oven, cool for a couple of minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- Make the ganache filling:
- Put the chocolate chips and cream into a bowl and heat in the microwave on medium high just until the chocolate chips become warm. Watch it carefully, you don’t want it to burn! Stir, re-heat if needed and stir again until melted and mixed thoroughly with the cream. Add the peppermint extract, stir thoroughly, then set aside to cool until it firms up enough to spread. While it’s cooling, arrange the cookies in pairs that are equal in size, so the cookie tops and bottoms will be even. Spread a small amount of ganache on the back of one cookie, then gently, with a little twist, press the other cookie onto it. Place on a tray. Best to leave these overnight to set the ganache. If your climate is very warm, you may want to keep them in the refrigerator so the ganache remains firm.
To package, I used:
• Evermine Small White Window Tin-Tie Bags 3.4″ x 2.5″ x 7.75″
• Evermine Large circle labels shape 11, in style Old Time Higgins
• Evermine tags, shape 12 fancy, in style Apothecary Neat in color: Spring Green.