Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Chocolate Peppermint Squares

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Christmas is nineteen days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Nothing says Christmas like chocolate and peppermint. Think of these as the Christmas version of the Girl Scout’s thin mint cookies. This recipe from King Arthur Flour brings the best of these flavors together. First you have a fudgey brownie layer with just a hit of mint then it is topped by a more intense mint frosting before receiving a final splash of dark chocolate. And for good measure you top it all with crushed candy canes. These cookies both look and taste festive.

CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT SQUARES

For the brownie layer:

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

For the frosting layer:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 tablespoons milk

For the glaze:
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

To garnish:
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 9 inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • To make the dough, melt together the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, salt and eggs.
  • Add the chocolate mixture, stirring to combine, then the flour, nuts and peppermint, mixing till well-blended.
  • Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 9-inch pan.
  • Bake the brownies for 25 minutes.
  • Remove them from the oven, and cool to room temperature.
  • To make the frosting, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butte peppermint and milk.
  • Spread the frosting over the cooled squares in a thin layer.
  • To make the glaze, melt together the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave.
  • Drizzle the mixture over the frosted squares, and sprinkle with the crushed peppermint candy.
  • Refrigerate the squares till they’re well-chilled. To serve, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.

Yield: About 36 small squares.

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