Thursday, December 31, 2009

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Cookies for the New Year

Gosh, I feel so behind. I have spent the past few days just trying to catch up with my reader and I'm not even close to having everything read. I feel so out of the blogging loop. The past few days have been particularly hard because Perla has been sick and I'm feeling more and more uncomfortable each day. I can't believe tomorrow marks the beginning of the year our daughter will be born. I can't believe we have been in Miami for over 6 months now. We started the year living in Boston and are ending it living in Miami. It's crazy and amazing how quickly and drastically things can change. I'm excited to see what 2010 has in store for us.

Christmas was only last week and it's already a blur. We had a lot of fun dressing the house up this year. It was great to have a real tree to put gifts under and a mantle to put up some of our favorite holiday pieces.
I also made cookies. These are cookies Santa would definitely approve of because they are like Christmas in a bite. Perfect with a glass of milk, these cookies are chocolaty with just the right amount of peppermint flavoring. My cookies puffed up instead of thinning out, but no one complained about that :)
Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Source: Two Peas and Their Pod (here)

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
4 ounces 99% unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 candy canes-crushed up

1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oil, chocolate and granulated sugar and blend on medium speed. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. There may be some small clumps of sugar in the batter at this point. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, stopping once to scrape down the sides. Mix until just incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky.

3. Gather the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

4. Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

5. Pour the crushed candy canes onto a plate or into a shallow bowl. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball into the candy cane pieces, so that all sides are covered. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets.

6. Bake for 10 minutes for soft, chewy cookies, or 12 minutes for crisp cookies, rotating the pans halfway through baking. The cookies do set up, so if you want them soft, take them out at 10 minutes. Let cool completely on cooling racks. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season! 2010 is hours away (and in some places it's already 2010!) so I hope everyone is reflecting on 2009 and celebrating the end of the decade. Either way, here's to many great things in 2010!

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