Overnight, the autumn leaves fell from the old oak trees.
Halloween is over. Time to undrape the cobwebs, unstick the fake blood, and tuck away the eyeball candles and bat wings. I make it a little easier for myself, though, by decorating for autumn more than just Halloween, so there’s not too much to undo.
Now the countdown to Thanksgiving begins. Let’s be honest, though. It’s really a countdown to the moment when we can begin counting down the days to Christmas. So take a moment to relax; savor your candy corn and gummy worms. Pretty soon, snow will fall and giant turkeys will invade your every thought. The bucket of chocolate will be replaced by unwieldy serving platters, the jiggly gummy worms with gelatinous, can-shaped cranberry sauce. As Black Friday looms dangerously near, the bells will be a-ringing and the relatives a-knockin’. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Speaking of getting ahead of myself, I trotted out one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes a bit early this year. Okay, make that really early. But I just couldn’t resist.
These chocolate peppermint drop cookies have a dense, brownie-like center, and mini chocolate chips that add texture with their wonderful gooey goodness. They taste very much like thin mints, or good quality mint chocolate chip ice cream. Aside from the peppermint extract, the ingredients are simple and can be found in most pantries. But be warned, this recipe makes a lot of cookies, so make sure you have friends and family on standby (or room in your freezer) to help ease the load.
Chocolate Peppermint Drop Cookies
adapted from food network
2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c packed light brown sugar
3/4 granulated white sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c mini chocolate chips
3/4 c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
about 1/4 tsp pure peppermint extract, or to taste
3 1/2 tsp water, or until desired texture
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Slowly beat in the flour mixture.
Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Cover dough and refridgerate about 1 hour, or until firm.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, spacing about two inches apart. I use a mini ice scream scoop, which produces slightly larger cookies but makes the process much easier.
Bake until tops are dry and slightly cracked, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. Let cool completely.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, mint extract and wat until smooth, adding more sugar or water until desired consistency is reached.
Pour the glaze into a small-tipped pastry bag, or a resealable plastic bag and snip off a tiny corner.
Working in batches, lay cookies in a single layer and drizzle the glaze in straight lines. Turn the cookies 180 degrees and repeat. Or, drizzle however you like and create your own design.
Let the cookies dry for about 10 minutes, or until glaze has set.
“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” Benjamin Franklin