In my experience, the tail end of the Christmas season always seems to be filled with chores. Taking down the tree, packing away the ornaments, writing thank you notes, (secretly) exchanging that awkward turtle neck for jewelry…the list goes on and on. This year, in procrastination from my other, more tedious tasks, I decided to address another lingering Christmas left over: candy canes. Every year we can’t help but buy a pack or two to adorn the tree and garnish a dessert platter…and every year we’re left with dozens of unwrapped, uneaten remnants in our pantry.
So I bring you a simple fix: Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
I adapted this version from a Chocolate White Chocolate Chip recipe that I’ve been using for years. The original is great, but I wanted to incorporate that chocolate-pepermint flavor I’ve been craving/smelling for the past month. I also cut some of the white chocolate chips for chocolate chips because I think the sweetness of white chocolate can be a little over powering some times. These were completely experimental but I’m pretty happy with how they came out. The peppermint permeates the entire batter, without overwhelming the cocoa flavor, and the candy cane pieces add a nice sticky, chewy crunch to the texture.
Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Ingredients: (makes about 4 dozen)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups white chocolate and milk chocolate chips *
1/2 cup candy canes, crushed **
*You can play with the ratio of white chocolate to milk chocolate, depending on your preference. I split it pretty evenly for my batch.
** A simple way to crush candy canes is to put them in a large zip lock bag and smash them with a meat pounder or rolling pin. Zapping them in the food processor would also work.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. It’s important that your butter starts off softened (but not melted!), other wise your cookies will end up flat and crispy. I recommend microwaving the sticks on defrost for about a minute.
2. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract
4. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Blend into batter mixture in sections.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips and crushed candy canes
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Since these are a chocolate batter, it can be difficult to tell when the cookies are done without the “golden brown” visual you get with regular choco-chip cookies. A good trick is to watch for when the tops of the cookies tart to look cracked. As a rule of thumb I always set my timer lower, and add more time as needed.
And there you have it! Not sure what I’ll do with these babies, since we’re still working on polishing off all the deserts and boxes of chocolate from Christmas…. maybe they’ll become a NYE hostess gift to accompany some candy cane cocktails. On the other hand, how badly do you want to dip that in a mug of hot chocolate or a skinny peppermint mocha latte from Starbucks?
Hope you give these a try if you’re killing time at home and hoarding candy canes like I am!