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Cooking

3 recipes for holiday cookies

Chocolate-peppermint treats perfect for holiday eating and giving.

Cookies topped with chocolate and bits of candy cane will keep for a week (unless you eat them first).

Photograph by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

Cookies topped with chocolate and bits of candy cane will keep for a week (unless you eat them first).

PEPPERMINT-CHOCOLATE BARK COOKIES

Makes about 32

 TIP Use a sieve to separate candy pieces from dust. Reserve dust for sprinkling on hot cocoa.

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces candy canes

2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)

In a small bowl, whisk flour and salt and set aside. Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat to incorporate fully. Add the flour mixture and beat on low just to incorporate. Scrape dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, knead it once or twice, shape into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 and up to 48 hours.

Continue reading below

With the rack in the center position, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to fit a 17-by-13-inch baking sheet. Rest the dough at room temperature for 15 minutes, then dust with flour and roll into a rectangle just smaller than the sheet and about inch thick. Transfer the parchment and dough to the sheet, prick lightly with a fork, and bake until light golden brown and puffed, about 22 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through.

Meanwhile, place candy in a zippered bag and use a heavy pan to crush it, then shake in a sieve to remove dust from small pieces (you should have about 1 cup).

Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and immediately sprinkle the chocolate over the hot cookie. Let soften for 4 to 5 minutes, then spread the chocolate evenly over the cookie. Immediately sprinkle with the crushed candy, pressing gently to adhere. Cool until set, about 90 minutes, then cut and serve (or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week).

 

PEPPERMINT-CHOCOLATE WAFFLE COOKIES

Makes about 32

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

¾ teaspoon instant espresso powder

¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nonstick cooking spray

cup confectioners’ sugar

1 to 1½ tablespoons half-and-half

¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

¼ cup very finely crushed candy cane  

In a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently, until smooth and glossy. Stir in the espresso powder and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder. Remove bowl from pan and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. Use a mixer on high speed to beat the eggs and sugar until very thick and pale, about 1½ minutes. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. With the motor running at medium, gradually add the cooled chocolate mixture, and then the flour mixture, and beat until just combined.

Heat a waffle iron on medium. Spray lightly with cooking spray, then drop scant tablespoons of batter onto the iron and bake until cooked and slightly dry, about 2 minutes; repeat, re-spraying as needed. Use a fork to gently remove the waffles and transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 5 minutes.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar and remaining cocoa powder into a shallow container. Add 1 tablespoon half-and-half and the peppermint extract and whisk into a glaze (if necessary, add the extra half-and-half). Transfer the crushed candy cane to another shallow container. Working with 1 cookie at a time, dip just the top of 1 side into the glaze and then the candy. Place on a wire rack to set, about 10 minutes. Serve at once.

TIP: Use a sieve to separate candy pieces from dust. Reserve dust for sprinkling on hot cocoa.

Photograph by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty

TIP: Use a sieve to separate candy pieces from dust. Reserve dust for sprinkling on hot cocoa.

 

PEPPERMINT-GLAZED CHOCOLATE RUM BALLS

Makes about 32

1½ pounds brownies, broken into small pieces (about 6 cups)

3½ tablespoons dark rum

3 ounces candy canes

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

2 to 2½ teaspoons half-and-half

¼ teaspoon peppermint extract 

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside. In a mixer, beat the brownies and rum on low until smooth, about 40 seconds. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (wet your hands if mixture sticks) and place on sheet. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, place candy in a zippered bag and use a heavy pan to crush it, then shake in a sieve to remove dust from small pieces (you should have about cup). Place candy in a bowl.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar into another bowl. Add 2 teaspoons half-and-half and the peppermint extract and whisk into a glaze (if necessary, add the extra half-and-half). Dip the top of each ball into the glaze and then the candy and return to the sheet.

Refrigerate, uncovered, till cold, about 1 hour, then serve chilled or at room temperature (or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week). Note: Cookies contain alcohol.

  Send comments to cooking@globe.com. 

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